The Food Standards Agency (FSA) was established in 2000 with a wide remit which included the provision of transparent and independent advice in the fields of food safety, nutrition and labelling. This role continued to the satisfaction of all government departments including the Scottish Government until 2010 when the Machinery of Government changes in relation to nutrition and labelling were implemented by the UK Government.
In July 2011 I was asked to chair an Expert Panel to conduct a study to assess the feasibility of establishing a stand-alone Scottish Food Standards Agency including a Scottish meat inspection delivery body. In doing this we were asked to ensure that the existing statutory objective of the FSA to "protect public health from risk which may arise in connection with the consumption of food, and otherwise to protect the interests of consumers in relation to food" was maintained. We were given wide terms of reference but the overall objective was to make recommendations on the best outcome for Scotland's long-term interests both in relation to the FSA and also the Meat Inspection Service.
The methodology which we adopted is described fully in the report. We carried out a wide range of consultations both by inviting key stakeholders to provide us with their views and also inviting interested organisations to submit their comments and where appropriate to provide their views in person. The FSA both in Aberdeen and in London were very helpful and provided a considerable amount of valuable information. They also responded very quickly to requests for additional information and provided clarification on various points.
I would like to thank the members of the expert panel and the secretariat for their major contributions. I would also like to thank all those who made the time to help us and for their willingness to give us the benefits of their knowledge and skills.
I am pleased to present the findings of the expert panel in this report.
J M Scudamore
Email: Heather Curran