The Food Standards Agency welcomes the interim report from the Elliott Review.
The report, which can be found via the 'External sites' link on this page, recognises the high standards of food safety standards in the UK food industry. However, the need for a more coordinated and proactive approach to food crime is the principal theme of the report and Professor Elliott is right to highlight that there is a role for central government, local authorities and the food industry to play in this area.
We know from the horse meat incident that food supply chains are complex and international. We support the European Commission in its work to establish a European Union food fraud unit, to which the FSA has seconded staff, so we are better able to protect consumers from fraud along the whole food chain across the whole of Europe.
The FSA is already working with Defra and local authorities to detect and deter food fraud. For example, we are carrying out a study to test that products which are labelled from the UK are in fact from the UK; we have introduced unannounced inspections of meat cutting plants; and we have increased to £2m the funding to local authorities to support their own testing programmes.
We look forward to the discussion on the interim report’s recommendations over the coming weeks.