Wales considers devolving FSA responsibilities

Wales is considering whether to abandon the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and declare its own devolved system of food legislation, the Welsh First Minister has revealed.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has confirmed that the Welsh Assembly is currently considering the feasibility of devolving the responsibilities and the budgets of the FSA directly to the Welsh Government.

The surprise announcement came in response to a question from Plaid Cymru’s rural affairs spokesman, Llyr Huws Gruffydd about the FSA decision to press ahead with its controversial plans for full-cost recovery for abattoirs.

Jones said: “A report has recently been published, not on abattoirs but on the way in which food legislation is used in Wales.

“We will consider all aspects of the work of the FSA in order to ensure that new legislation is put before the Assembly to deal with all aspects of food in Wales.”

It comes just a week after the Scottish Executive revealed that an independent expert panel had been set up to consider the future delivery of the food standards regime in Scotland. It said the move followed the UK government’s decision last year to absorb some of the policy areas overseen in England by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), a UK-wide body, back into Whitehall departments.

>>FSA operations to be reviewed in Scotland