Food Standards Agency to be scrapped

The Food Standards Agency is set to be abolished as part of Government plans to overhaul the NHS.

Andrew Lansley
Andrew Lansley

Health secretary Andrew Lansley is said to want to scrap the consumer watchdog to help cut health service bureaucracy by £1bn. However, health charities argue that the decision provides further evidence that the Government is in league with “junk” food and drink makers.

The FSA has led on attempts to get a reluctant industry to adopt “traffic light” warnings in a bid to highlight the unhealthy nature of some snacks and meals. The agency was also said to be planning to have “internal discussions” to ponder the issue of food price in relation to healthy eating, a so-called “fat tax”.

Andrew Dougal, chief executive of NI Chest Heart & Stroke, told the BBC: “It makes no sense to abolish a major line of defence against unhealthy eating”, adding, “without the Food Standards Agency and a truly independent healthy eating campaign, the pressure on the food firms to do the right thing will simply disappear.”

The move comes days after the Lansley announced that he wanted the industry to help pay for the Department of Health’s Change4Life anti-obesity initiative in exchange for no new regulation.

Health charities questioned the decision, predicting that businesses will drag their feet on promoting health.

It is said the FSA’s duties will be transferred to the Department for Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health says no decision on the future of the FSA has been made. However, she adds that it will be subject to a review along with all other “arms-length” bodies.

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