A Healthier Scotland: Consultation on Creating a New Food Body

Scottish Ministers have agreed to create a new food safety body for Scotland. This consultation on the role of the new body is an opportunity for consumers and industry to tell the Scottish Government what they think about what the new food body should do, and how food safety and standards should be addressed in Scotland in the future.

ANNEX A: Diet and Nutrition – Roles and Responsibilities

1. The respective roles of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Scottish Government are independent in relation to health improvement and nutrition, taking account of both food and wider health issues.

2. In recognition of this, the Food Standards Agency and Scottish Government work in partnership with each other, and with other relevant agencies, in particular, NHS Health Scotland, to ensure effective co-ordination of their complementary activities in order to achieve the Food Standards Agency's objective of long-term improvements in the diet and nutrition of the Scottish population, and the Scottish Government's objective of making a step-change in Scotland's health and wellbeing a reality by improving and reducing dietary inequalities.

3. In practical terms, responsibility for taking forward specific aspects of tackling health inequalities is shared between the FSA and Scottish Government as outlined below.

The Food Standards Agency is responsible for:

4. The monitoring and surveillance of the nutrient content of food and the nutrient content of the diet, and the nutrient intake of the population specific subgroups including surveillance of the nutritional status of the population.

5. Providing authoritative, factual information about the nutrient content of individual foods and information on the diet as a whole as well as its components.

6. Providing the definition of a balanced diet for use in health education material produced by other bodies.

7. Proposing legislation, where appropriate, relating to nutritional aspects of food, including labelling and claims, dietary supplements sold as food, fortified foods and functional foods.

8. Representing the UK in EU & international negotiations on issues relating to nutritional content of food, except in relation to mothers who are breastfeeding, children, inequalities and groups and on foods for particular nutritional purposes.

9. Engaging with the UK food industry to promote reformulation of food: the reduction of salt, saturated fat, fat and sugar (including front of packet labelling) through a self reporting framework to highlight reductions.

The Food Standards Agency leads on:

10. Providing factual guidance in relation to nutritional aspects of the food chain, including production and catering.

The Food Standards Agency:

11. Formulates policy and provide advice to Cabinet Secretaries on the above issues (4-10)

12. Commissions research appropriate to its responsibility for the above issues (4-11)

The Scottish Government is responsible for:

13. Wider public health policy issues, including nutritional aspects of clinical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and obesity) where nutritional status is one of a number of risk factors.

14. Providing guidance and direction for the Scottish NHS and health professionals on nutrition topics such as breastfeeding promotion, clinical nutrition and dietetics, including hospital catering and nutritional therapy.

15. Undertaking general health surveillance of the population of Scotland.

Scottish Government leads on:

16. Health improvement, integrating diet and nutrition with other health topics such as substance misuse, tobacco, physical activity and mental health and wellbeing, utilising the expertise of NHS Health Scotland.

17. Identifying, through surveillance and research the needs of and provision for vulnerable groups including pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding, children and inequalities issues.

18. Co-ordination on a national scale, of the implementation Eating for Health-The Challenge on food in the public sector, in schools, in hospitals, in prisons in the workplace and in the home.

Scottish Government :

19. Formulates policy and provide advice to Cabinet Secretaries on the above issues (13-17)

20. Commissions research appropriate to its responsibility for the above issues (13-18)


Email: Morris Fraser

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