Scotland gets independent food standards watchdog

Scottish ministers have announced plans to create a new independent body to oversee food and safety.

The move follows the recommendations at Westminster to transfer responsibility for food and labeling in England from the Food Standards Agency to UK Government departments.

The change, recommended by an independent review from Professor Jim Scudamore, will see the new Scottish Food Standards Agency take control of food safety, nutrition standards, food labelling, and meat inspection in Scotland.

Announcing the move, public health minister Michael Matheson, said: “The changes in England removed significant capacity in the FSA’s nutrition and labelling functions for Scotland and needed to be addressed.

“A new body will allow a Scottish approach to be taken to tackle poor diet and food-borne diseases and should support our food and drink industry in growing its strong, international reputation for safe, quality food.”

Primary legislation will be required to create The new body, and ministers said they planned to consult on options before the end of this year.

Its aims will be to work independently from the Scottish government with the aim of giving consumers greater transparency.

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