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New UK Government Dismembers Food Standards Agency

As the U.K. ushers in a new administration after its elections last month, so, too, is it welcoming new standards for nutrition and food safety regulation.

Bangers and mash

Photo: mhaithaca (flickr)

The duties that help ensure U.K.'s blessed bangers and mash are up to par will be divvied up and given to other government departments.

As the U.K. ushers in a new administration after its elections last month, so, too, is it welcoming new standards for nutrition and food safety regulation.

Or, rather, a lack thereof.

Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, is abolishing the Food Standard Agency, which had previously regulated nutrition, safety and hygiene, and public health.

The agency’s responsibilities will be relegated to the Department of Health and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The move has raised some red flags that the current administration is submitting to big business.

Andrew Burnham, the Labour Party’s health spokesman, told The Guardian:

Getting rid of the FSA is the latest in a number of worrying steps that show Andrew Lansley caving in to the food industry. It does raise the question whether the health secretary wants to protect the public health or promote food companies.

Lansley publicly outlined a deal last week with big business whereby government would not legislate for a ban against unhealthy foods, provided the industry funds a campaign to improve the nation’s eating habits.

Read more:

  • UK government to eliminate pesky Food Standards Agency (Food Politics)
  • Food Standards Agency to be abolished by health secretary (The Guardian)

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Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer was in the company of foodies for most of her formative years. She spent all of her teens working at her town's natural food co-op in South Dakota, and later when she moved to Minneapolis, worked as a produce maven for the nation's longest running collectively-managed food co-op. In 2006, she had the distinct pleasure (and pain) of participating the vendanges, or grape harvest, in the Beaujolais terroire of France, where she developed her compulsion to snip off grape clusters wherever they may hang. In the spring of 2008, Megan interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she aided in the coverage of science, health and food policy stories. She joined Indiana Public Media in June, 2009.

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  • Amanda

    They're basically turning into the good ol' USA.

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