Food and Environment Protection Act 1985

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1985 c. 48


Food and EnvironmentProtection Act 1985

1985 CHAPTER 48

An Act to authorise the making in an emergency of orders specifying activities which are to be prohibited as a precaution against the consumption of food rendered unsuitable for human consumption in consequence of an escape of substances; to replace the Dumping at Sea Act 1974 with fresh provision for controlling the deposit of substances and articles in the sea; to make provision for the control of the deposit of substances and articles under the sea-bed; to regulate pesticides and substances, preparations and organisms prepared or used for the control of pests or for protection against pests; and for connected purposes.

[16th July 1985]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Contamination of Food

Part I

Contamination of Food

Emergency orders etc.

Emergency orders etc.

S-1 Power to make emergency orders.

1 Power to make emergency orders.

(1) If in the opinion of a designating authority—

(a ) there has been or may have been an escape of substances of such descriptions and in such quantities and such circumstances as are likely to create a hazard to human health through human consumption of food; and

(b ) in consequence food which is or may be in the future in an area—

(i) of land in the United Kingdom;

(ii) of sea within British fishery limits; or

(iii) both of such land and of such sea,

or which is or may be in the future derived from anything in such an area, is, or may be, or may become, unsuitable for human consumption,

that designating authority may by statutory instrument make an order designating that area and containing emergency prohibitions.

(2) In this Act—

‘designating authority’ means the Ministers or either of them;

‘escape’, in relation to substances, includes their release or expulsion by human agency or by any other cause;

‘emergency order’ means an order under this section—

(a ) which designates an area; or

(b ) which amends or re-enacts an order which designated an area;

‘emergency prohibitions’ means the prohibitions specified in Schedule 1 to this Act; and

‘designated area’ means an area designated by an emergency order.

(3) Food derived from any creature is to be treated for the purposes of this Act as also derived—

(a ) from any feeding stuff which that creature has eaten; and

(b ) from anything from which any such feeding stuff was derived,

and references in this Act to anything from which food could be derived shall be construed accordingly.

(4) The Ministers may jointly by order made by statutory instrument amend Schedule 1 to this Act.

(5) An emergency order shall refer to the escape or suspected escape of substances in consequence of which in the opinion of the designating authority making it food such as is mentioned in subsection (1)(b ) above is, or may be, or may become, unsuitable for human consumption; and in this Act ‘designated incident’ means the escape or suspected escape to which an emergency order refers in pursuance of this subsection.

(6) Subject to subsection (7) below, and to section 2(2) below, any person who—

(a ) contravenes an emergency prohibition; or

(b ) causes or permits any other person to do so,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(7) It shall be a defence for a person charged—

(a ) with contravening an emergency prohibition contained in an emergency order by virtue of paragraph 2 or 3 of Schedule 1 to this Act; or

(b ) with causing or permitting any other person to contravene such a prohibition,

to show—

(i) that the contravention took place on a foreign vessel, foreign aircraft, foreign hovercraft or foreign marine structure; and

(ii) that nothing to which the prohibition related was landed from it in the United Kingdom.

(8) An emergency order—

(a ) shall be laid before Parliament; and

(b ) shall cease to have effect at the expiry of a period of 28 days beginning with the date on which it was made unless, before the expiry of that period, the order has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, but without prejudice to anything previously done or to the making of a new order.

(9) In reckoning for the purposes of subsection (8) above any period of 28 days, no account shall be taken of any period during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than 4 days.

(10) An order under this section which—

(a ) wholly or partly revokes an emergency order; and

(b ) does nothing else, or nothing else except make provision incidental or supplementary to the revocation,

shall be laid before Parliament after being made.

(11) No order under subsection (4) above shall be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

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