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UK unveils new labelling responsibilities

By Rory Harrington, 03-Sep-2010

Related topics: Safety & Regulation

New rules carving up responsibilities for food labelling policy in the England came into force this week, with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) losing much of its power on the issue.

The move follows the UK Government’s announcement in July that a raft of functions carried out by the food watchdog would be switched to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Health (DOH).

While Defra took up its new role from 1 September, responsibility for nutrition labelling will shift to the DOH “at a later date”, said a FSA statement.

The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are considering whether they want to makechange to the new food labelling and composition policy regime. In the meantime, the FSA will keep functions that are transferring in England for these three countries.

New responsibilities

Food Standards Agency

The FSA will retain responsibility for food safety aspects of labelling. This will cover:

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra will continue to cover its current labelling responsibilities, such as welfare, marketing standards and eco labelling. It will also now deal with labelling where this does not relate to food safety or nutrition. This includes:

Department of Health

DOH will cover nutritional labelling policy (and relevant EU negotiations).This will include: