Oct 2nd, 2022
4 mins

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Chief Executive, Emily Miles, reflected on the potential impact of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, introduced to Parliament, during her report to the Board last week.

The Bill aims to end the special status of all EU-derived legislation by the end of December 2023, at which point any remaining retained laws will either be repealed or assimilated in UK domestic law.

Emily estimated that the FSA is responsible for over 100 pieces of legislation related to food hygiene and safety, in addition to over 30 pieces of legislation relating to food composition and labelling for which the FSA has responsibility in Wales. She added there is significant pressure to do that work as soon as possible but noted there would inevitably be a ‘trade off’ between speed and reform.

In her response to this, FSA Chair Susan Jebb said:

“It’s clear we cannot simply sunset the laws for which we are responsible without risking both public health and our ability to trade internationally, and I’m sure this is not the government’s intention with these plans. It’s also important for us to remember that individual pieces of law are intertwined in a complex system which links to legislation held by other government departments.

“I am keen to consider whether we can create a new Food and Feed Bill to replace much of the EU Law. I will prioritise engaging with Ministers to discuss our pre-existing plans for reform and how they may be incorporated as part of this process and much of this will depend on their appetite for speed versus reform. I am also very conscious of our responsibilities to the devolved governments, and I will be looking to meet with them too.

“I hope the Executive team will work with stakeholders from both industry and consumer groups to understand their priorities so that by the December Board meeting, we will be in a better position to discuss the way we will approach this huge change in legislation whilst remaining fully committed to ensuring that food is safe and what it says it is.”



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