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Statement on the publication of the Novel Foods Regulatory Framework Review: Executive Summary

The FSA is committed to maintaining the UK’s high standards of food and feed safety whilst also working hard to support innovation across the food system.

Last updated: 7 June 2023
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Last updated: 7 June 2023
See all updates

As part of our work focusing on new and innovative foods, in October 2022 we issued an invitation to tender for a review of the Novel Foods Regulatory Framework, the process by which new foods are brought onto the UK market. Applications were received and were evaluated against set commercial and technical criteria, with Deloitte being selected as the successful supplier. 

The report commissioned by the FSA from Deloitte critically evaluated the current Novel Foods Regulatory Framework (based on Novel Foods Retained EU Legislation) and identifies potential opportunities for reform. The review took into account the UK regulatory landscape, and the devolved nature of the policy area, and drew on different international regulatory models and stakeholder views.

Experiences and insights from current and prospective applicants, innovative Novel Food industry sectors and other UK and International regulators from both food and non-food sectors were collected to develop a critical evaluation of the current framework and to explore opportunities for potential reform. As the report focused on the technical operation of the regulatory framework, the report did not include consumer views or wider stakeholder interests at this stage. 

Any future reform plans developed by the FSA for Novel Foods will include further stakeholder engagement, consumer engagement and public consultation as part of the policy development process. The FSA is a non-Ministerial government department governed by a Board, rather than directly by Ministers.  As such, reform plans will be discussed and decided on by the FSA Board, before being recommended to Ministers in England, Wales and – if appropriate – Northern Ireland.

This report will be used as an input to support thinking within the FSA about how we design a future regulatory model, identifying the opportunities that make it easy for businesses to do the right thing and removing unnecessary barriers to innovation. The FSA have joint responsibility for the authorisation of Novel Foods with Food Standards Scotland and the development of any reform plans will be taken forward in consultation with the devolved nations. The report was commissioned by the FSA and produced by Deloitte. The report represents initial thinking and analysis about how FSA might move forward in future based on comparison with other regulated sectors, international food regulation and limited consultation with FBOs and other stakeholders. The report does not represent an official FSA view, policy position or a set of recommendations. The Executive Summary of the report has been published: Novel Foods Regulatory Framework Review: Executive Summary

Further Information

  • Novel foods are any foods that do not have a significant history of consumption in the UK before May 1997. Novel foods need to be authorised before they can be placed on the market in Great Britain. The Novel Foods Framework sets out the legislative requirements relating to the authorisation of these products.
  • Under current operating arrangements for Northern Ireland, new authorisations for novel food products to be placed on the Northern Ireland market must continue to follow EU processes. From Autumn 2023, the Windsor Framework will allow UK public health standards to apply for retail goods moved via the agrifood green lane and placed on the NI market. Therefore, goods moving via this route containing GB authorised novel foods will be able to be placed on the NI market.
  • The Government commitment to the Novel Foods Review is referenced in The Benefits of Brexit Paper (HM Government, January 2022: Page 63).
  • As a government agency we are required to publish a copy of the contract and contract details on the transparency site Contracts Finder within 30 calendar days of the contract award date. The contract award start date was 12/12/2022 and the Contracts Finder notice was published on 19/12/2022. We also published a ‘Find a Tender Awarded Notice’ on 19/12/2022.