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Food Standards Agency

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received from and discussions he has had with (a) the Food Standards Agency and (b) local authorities regarding food law enforcement. [111102]

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has responsibility for food law enforcement matters, as this area falls within its remit to protect public health and consumers' interests in relation to food. The FSA advises and keeps Health Ministers regularly informed, through frequent discussions and briefings, about relevant developments and issues. The FSA works very closely with local authorities and their representative bodies and receives regular representations from them regarding food law enforcement issues. These are made informally through day-to-day contact between FSA officials and local authority enforcement officers and more formally by means of written representations, through the enforcement liaison group (a joint FSA/ local authority committee that was set up to strengthen and develop links with local authorities) and at regular meetings of the FSA's chairman, chief executive and other senior officials with representatives of the local authorities co-ordinator of regulatory services and with the Local Government Association. These representations relate to a wide range of issues including, for example, the FSA's local authority monitoring and audit programmes, levels and consistency of food law enforcement activity, recruitment and retention of enforcement professionals and licensing of food premises.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Food Standards Agency has budgeted to spend on the Food Working Party when it is appointed. [111208]

The Food Standards Agency has recently invited tenders for the 2003–04 contract to run a food working party of United Kingdom consumer and enforcement organisations with an interest in UK, and particularly European Union, food policy. The budget for 2003–04 will be in the region of £40,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Food Standards Agency spent on its Foodaware initiative in 2002–03. [111210]

Foodaware is a quarterly working party of United Kingdom consumer and enforcement organisations with an interest in the UK and particularly European Union food policy. The Food Standards Agency funds the Secretariat. The budget for Foodaware was £40,000 in 2002–03.