Britain has, as threatened, split up its Food Standards Agency (roughly equivalent to our FDA). The split applied only to FSA in England. Its role in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales remains the same for the moment.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the precipitating cause of the new government's distress about the FSA was—incredible as it seems—the agency's support of traffic-light front-of-package labeling.
In its new configuration, FSA keeps its food safety functions. Its nutrition and labeling functions go to the Department of Health. Its country-of-origin and other non-labeling policies go to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Surprise! The UK Food and Drink Federation thinks this is a terrific move.
As the voice of the UK food and drink manufacturing sector, we believe it is important to maintain an independent food safety regulator and fully support today's decision by the Government to retain the Food Standards Agency ... We also support the decision to move responsibility for nutrition, and other food policy issues, back into Government departments...This should lead to clearer and more consistent policy making, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort across Whitehall.
FSA may be keeping its food safety responsibilities, but Food Safety News reports that the agency hasn't been doing such a great job with them. FSA's most recent Annual Report says that it did not achieve its target for reduction of Campylobacter infections. It also failed to reach targets for reductions in salt and saturated fat.