This week Which?’s campaigns work in Scotland resulted in stronger consumer protection in the food chain, as a new Bill ushered in a tougher independent agency called Food Standards Scotland (FSS).
We’ve worked to ensure consumers will be at the heart of the new food watchdog, and we fought for new powers for FSS to work alongside local authorities to improve enforcement and drive up standards.
The new agency will also be responsible for nutrition, and that’s particularly important because of high levels of obesity in the UK, causing problems such as higher levels of diabetes in the population.
And importantly, the watchdog should be able to access more of the tests the food industry carries out itself, so that they can take action more quickly against food fraud or adulteration.
— Scottish Parliament (@ScotParl) December 9, 2014
An open Food Standards Scotland
Together all these issues mean the agency will be better equipped to protect us all – action that’s needed more now than ever before, as our food reaches us via increasingly lengthy and complex routes.
We won a commitment from Government for the new body to be open and accessible, so that it will be responsible to the public, and for them to consult widely with the population when new food technologies and methods arise, so that we all have a voice in how our food is produced.
Our work on behalf of the public strengthened the Bill’s focus on consumers and ensured the Board will operate openly and without an industry focus. Our Make Chicken Safe campaign highlights the risks consumers run and demonstrates the need for the FSS to use all its powers to tackle these issues.
Now we look forward to the new agency’s launch in April – we will be watching closely to ensure no more food scandals slip through the net.