Canny Scots politicians act in the interests of their people – the rest of the UK hands food safety over to Capita
Public health minister Maureen Watt is celebrating the launch of Food Standards Scotland, which “will be a trusted source of food safety advice and nutritional guidance”.
News broke recently that Capita has taken over Britain’s Food and Environment Research Agency, after paying £20m for a 75% stake and despite a string of privatisation scandals and has outlined plans to almost double sales by making the unit’s work more commercial; Professor Tim Lang warns that no one will pay for evidence about food and biodiversity, or food and pesticide residues.
Professor Lang, who heads City University London’s food policy unit and advises Westminster and World Health Organisation, said: “I think it’s absolutely scandalous. This is selling the state, and the moment a state loses its access to science it’s in trouble.” He claimed many food policy experts shared his view but were unwilling to speak out about their concerns.
The Scotsman reports that the primary concern of the FSS is consumer protection – making sure that food is safe to eat, ensuring consumers know what they are eating and improving nutrition. It will also provide policy advice, keep consumers informed and ensure the enforcement of food regulations.
A new YouGov poll had shown shows that other than costs, the Scottish public is most concerned about making sure they and their families eat a healthy, balanced diet. This was followed by worries over food authenticity and concern over food safety.
Executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd, said: “It’s important that Food Standards Scotland builds on the work of its predecessor and operates transparently as a strong, independent consumer champion. It’s vital that the new food agency tackles the challenges facing Scotland, including obesity rates, food poisoning and food fraud, putting the interests of Scottish consumers at its heart.”
FSS chief executive Geoff Ogle said that the new body “will provide a regime responsive to Scotland’s needs. Our focus will be on making decisions based on the food safety, labelling and nutrition issues that affect the Scottish public most directly.”
Another count on which Scotland is offering a more beneficial example to the British government.
Posted on April 2, 2015, in Admirable politician, Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Economy, Environment, Finance, Food, Government, Health, Planning, Taxpayers' money, Vested interests and tagged Capita, Devolution, Food and Environment Research Agency, Food Standards Scotland, Professor Tim Lang. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.