Soil Association blasts FSA blueprint
THE proposed Food Standards Agency (FSA) risks ignoring the vital expertise of farmers, Soil Association director Patrick Holden said yesterday.
Speaking at the London conference on food safety, at Church House, Westminster, he warned that the FSA would perpetuate the conflict of interests in the industry by giving too much weight to consumers.
He claimed the blueprint ignored intensive farming, which he blamed for food crises and for lowering the nutritional quality of food.
Only the agriculture ministry and the farming industry had the expertise to transform farming methods, despite being guilty of past mistakes. But, he said, they risked being sidelined by the introduction of the consumer lobby into the equation.
He wanted to see an FSA serving under an integrated departmental structure, bringing together agriculture, health and the environment under a “super minister”.
Northern Foods chairman Chris Haskins said the current wave of regulation and self-regulation acted against small farmers and others who lacked the means to upgrade their systems.