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


New backlash forces Spar to put launch of own-label alcopop on ice

Marketing Week

Grocery chain Spar has abandoned all immediate plans to launch an own-label alcopop range after an enormous backlash against the flavoured alcoholic drinks. Allegations that the drinks are being deliberately marketed to children are now rife. Home Secretary Jack Straw has demanded an urgent investigation and one tabloid newspaper has called for a ban. Spar […]

Senior shake-up at Littlewoods

Marketing Week

Tony Hillyer, marketing chief of pools giant Littlewoods Leisure, has been promoted to commercial director, after three of the company’s top directors announced they are taking early retirement. The shake-up comes after the company announced disappointing results in March for its Leisure division, which comprises the Pools, Spot the Ball and the Littlewoods Lotteries charity […]

Observer reviews account out of St Luke’s in hunt for fresh image

Marketing Week

The Observer is reviewing its 1.1m advertising account, held by St Luke’s, as part of an effort to lift circulation and give itself a fresh image. Marketing director Stephen Palmer says: “We have entered a new phase of optimism with the new Government and we want a campaign which reflects this.” St Luke’s won the […]


    Leave a comment