THE WAY in which the Food Standards Agency (FSA) responded to the horse meat scandal will be assessed as part of an independent review.
Whilst the agency’s investigations continue, the initial response to the incident, which involved the adulteration of beef products, is drawing to a close. The FSA board has therefore agreed that a review is now necessary.
Pat Troop, a former chief executive of the Health Protection Agency and deputy chief medical officer at the Department of Health, will head the work with a secretariat provided by the FSA. She is expected to report back to the board in June.
On Monday, the government also announced its own review of the controversy in a bid to help restore consumer confidence. In a statement, food minister David Heath said:
“This [review] will be wide-ranging, to restore and maintain consumer confidence in the food chain and consider the responsibilities of food businesses, and practice throughout the wider food chain, including: audit, testing, food authenticity, food safety and health issues.”
The government will also consider any wider implications of the FSA review’s findings.
The EU health and consumer commissioner also confirmed this week that results from the EU-wide DNA testing had found less than 5% of products tested contained horse meat. Tonio Borg also confirmed that the results showed the scandal is about fraud rather than food contamination.
Member States are meeting tomorrow, April 19th, to discuss whether the EU coordinated monitoring plan should be extended.