Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

DataHub

DataHub

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Auction Finder

Auction Finder

British Farming Awards

British Farming Awards

CropTec

CropTec

LAMMA 2019

LAMMA 2019

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days or subscribe for unlimited access.

Subscribe | Register

Swingeing cuts to regulatory agencies putting food safety at risk

Swingeing cuts to the budgets and staff of key regulatory agencies are putting the safety of UK food at risk, new analysis has revealed.


Abi   Kay

TwitterFacebook
Abi   Kay
TwitterFacebook
Share This

Swingeing cuts to regulatory agencies putting food safety at risk

The research by charity Sustain, which has been shared exclusively with Farmers Guardian, showed the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has had its budget slashed by more than a quarter since 2011, and seen a 21 per cent drop in staff numbers over the same period.

 

Cuts to trading standards were even deeper, with the budget dropping from £213 million in 2010 to £124m last year – a 42 per cent reduction.

 

The Trading Standards Institute, which enforces laws on consumer safety, labelling and animal welfare, also estimated the number of staff working to protect the public had been cut by a massive 57 per cent.


Read More

2 Sisters sends ‘inappropriate’ gifts to MPs investigating food safety breaches 2 Sisters sends ‘inappropriate’ gifts to MPs investigating food safety breaches
Academics hit back after FSA brands food safety concerns ‘nonsense’ Academics hit back after FSA brands food safety concerns ‘nonsense’
Councils warn loss of access to EU systems risks new horsemeat scandal Councils warn loss of access to EU systems risks new horsemeat scandal
EU food safety agencies ‘potentially weakened’ by Brexit EU food safety agencies ‘potentially weakened’ by Brexit
Police to take no further action on alleged food safety breaches at 2 Sisters Police to take no further action on alleged food safety breaches at 2 Sisters

Council food law enforcement officer numbers have dropped too, from 2,531 in 2013 to 2,105 in 2016 – a 22 per cent reduction.

 

The draconian cuts come as the FSA is having to cope with a number of high-profile investigations, including one into meat supplier Russell Hulme, which uncovered ‘serious systemic and widespread’ problems around use-by dates.

 

Asked if the FSA had the capacity to cope with its day-to-day duties on top of such probes, a spokesman said: “The organisation prepares for incidents by carrying out exercises to test the procedures in place and the resilience of the teams which may be involved.

 

“We also measure the resource requirements needed over a longer period of time to help inform preparations and planning for future events.

“The FSA and Food Standards Scotland are working with colleagues in local authorities to jointly carry out this investigation while we continue to carry out and deliver our regular functions.”

 

Concerns about the UK’s ability to keep food safe have been exacerbated by Brexit, as the Government will have to establish and fund new regulatory bodies to replace EU ones, such as the European Food Safety Agency, after leaving the bloc.

 

Sustain chief executive Kath Dalmeny said: “Regulation has been a dirty word of late, but we all expect the food on our plates to be safe. We need fresh commitments from Government to give the people who keep our food safe the proper funding they need.”

TwitterFacebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

Most Recent

Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS