Clarity is being sought by The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee on plans for food safety risk management post-Brexit.
The committee have written to Steve Brine MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, seeking answers.
The committee heard evidence that when the UK leaves the EU it will no longer be a member of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed and will therefore not automatically follow the risk management decisions made by the EU on food safety.
In the letter, which is signed by the committee’s chairman Lord Teverson, the committee have asked the Government to confirm that this is the case and clarify what will happen during any transition period.
If the UK does leave the EU risk management decision making process, given the amount of work that will need to be undertaken to put the new processes in place, the committee have also asked when the Government will be making a final decision on how food safety risk-management decisions will be taken.
The committee state that food and feed regulation in the UK currently flows almost entirely from the EU.
The committee members state they have spoken to Heather Hancock, chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), who told them that in the majority of cases the Standing Committee make the decision on the proposal and it is simply noted on the agenda of the Council of Ministers meeting.
When the UK leaves the EU, it will, the committee assume, no longer be a member of the Standing Committee and no longer automatically follow the risk management decisions made by the EU.
The committee ends its letter with questions such as: “What steps are you taking to ensure that domestic arrangements to make food safely risk management decisions will be in place by then?”
Food Management Today has contacted Steve Brine, but has yet to receive a response.
To read the full letter, click here.