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Food Standards Agency

Volume 696: debated on Tuesday 8 June 2021

Next week the Food Standards Agency will produce its annual report and hold its annual general meeting. That report is likely to recommend significant changes regarding live bivalve molluscs, which have a huge impact on my constituency and on the health of the nation for those who eat seafood. Will the Minister commit that any changes recommended in the report next week will be brought forward in record time, so that they may be implemented quickly and we can secure the future of the seafood industry in the United Kingdom?

It is a change to be talking about a different sort of mussel in this place during Health questions. The Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Victoria Prentis) and I are well aware of the challenges that currently face the shellfish industry, and I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Anthony Mangnall) for his dogged determination, especially on behalf of those businesses that rely on exports. We will continue to work closely with the FSA, which I know has been working hard to resolve these issues and make progress. I have been advised that there is potential for change to ensure that classifications are awarded in a proportionate and pragmatic way, while continuing to ensure high levels of public health protection. I assure my hon. Friend that I will continue to work closely with the FSA and with my colleagues in DEFRA.