Asda condemns Food Agency plan

Asda has broken ranks with its supermarket rivals and delivered a stinging criticism of Government plans to set up an independent Food Standards Agency.

The plans, developed by nutritionalist Professor Philip James, director of Aberdeen’s Rowett Research Institute, envisage taking responsibility for food safety away from the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food and handing it to an independent agency.

All the other major supermarket chains support the initiative.

Asda says the proposals risk creating an unaccountable bureaucracy without adequate lines of communication to ministers. It says there must be direct ministerial responsibility to Parliament and that the creation of an independent agency would not allow this to happen.

Gordon Maddan, Asda’s trading standards manager, says: “We see the need for direct ministerial accountability. The Food Standards Agency has a different model with a chief executive, a committee of ten members and responsibility to a council of ministers, and provides for devolution of food concerns to Scotland and Wales. In that scenario, accountability may become diluted.”

Asda proposes the creation of an all-embracing Consumer Ministry within the Department of Trade & Industry. Food safety, food labelling and compositional issues would be dealt with either by this new ministry or directly by the Secretary of State for Health.

See Cover Story, page 38

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here