22 July 1997
Clean-up for food agency
THE new Food Standards Agency being set up by the government must be consumer-driven, independent, and accountable, according to David Clark, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Speaking at the National Food Alliance AGM in London today, Dr Clark
emphasised the importance of the new Agency to ensure food safety
`from plough to plate.
Confidence in the safety of the food we eat was severely undermined
in recent years. The £4 billion BSE crisis and the E.Coli outbreaks
which resulted in such tragic loss of life have made unanswerable the
case for a rigorously independent, open and effective Food Standards
Agency, he said.
Protection of public health is the essential aim of the Agency we
are setting up. The tremendous response we have received to the
consultation period which followed the James Report underlines the
importance of the issue, he said.
Mr Clark said the government was currently considering the responses to Professor James report, which was published in May, and that it would make an announcement in the next two weeks. He said the government would publish its proposals in a White Paper in Autumn and would produce a draft Bill in the Spring of 1998.