Food Standards Act 1999



Food Standards Act 1999

1999 Chapter 28

An Act to establish the Food Standards Agency and make provision as to its functions; to amend the law relating to food safety and other interests of consumers in relation to food; to enable provision to be made in relation to the notification of tests for food-borne diseases; to enable provision to be made in relation to animal feedingstuffs; and for connected purposes.

[11th November 1999]

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:—

The Food Standards Agency

The Food Standards Agency

S-1 The Food Standards Agency.

1 The Food Standards Agency.

(1) There shall be a body to be called the Food Standards Agency or, in Welsh, yr Asiantaeth Safonau Bwyd (referred to in this Act as ‘the Agency’) for the purpose of carrying out the functions conferred on it by or under this Act.

(2) The main objective of the Agency in carrying out its functions is to protect public health from risks which may arise in connection with the consumption of food (including risks caused by the way in which it is produced or supplied) and otherwise to protect the interests of consumers in relation to food.

(3) The functions of the Agency are performed on behalf of the Crown.

S-2 Appointment of members etc.

2 Appointment of members etc.

(1) The Agency shall consist of a chairman and deputy chairman and not less than eight or more than twelve other members, of whom—

(a) one member shall be appointed by the National Assembly for Wales;

(b) two members shall be appointed by the Scottish Ministers;

(c) one member shall be appointed by the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland; and

(d) the others shall be appointed by the Secretary of State.

(2) The chairman and deputy chairman shall be appointed by the appropriate authorities acting jointly and, before appointing a person as one of the other members of the Agency the authority making the appointment shall consult the other appropriate authorities.

(3) Before appointing a person as chairman, deputy chairman or member of the Agency, the authorities or authority making the appointment shall—

(a) have regard to the desirability of securing that a variety of skills and experience is available among the members of the Agency (including experience in matters related to food safety or other interests of consumers in relation to food); and

(b) consider whether any person it is proposed to appoint has any financial or other interest which is likely to prejudice the exercise of his duties.

(4) Schedule 1 (constitution etc. of the Agency) has effect.

S-3 Appointment of chief executive and directors.

3 Appointment of chief executive and directors.

(1) A chief executive shall be appointed for the Agency.

(2) The chief executive shall be responsible for (among other things) securing that the activities of the Agency are carried out efficiently and effectively.

(3) The first appointment under subsection (1) shall be made by the appropriate authorities acting jointly; and subsequent appointments shall be made by the Agency, subject to the approval of each of those authorities.

(4) Directors shall be appointed for Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland, each of whom shall be responsible under the chief executive for (among other things) securing that the activities of the Agency in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland (as the case may be) are carried out efficiently and effectively.

(5) The first appointment under subsection (4) for Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland shall be made by the appropriate authority for that part of the United Kingdom; and subsequent appointments shall be made by the Agency, subject to the approval of that authority.

(6) The chief executive and the directors appointed under subsection (4) shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of their appointments.

S-4 Annual and other reports.

4 Annual and other reports.

(1) The Agency shall prepare a report on its activities and performance during each financial year.

(2) The Agency shall, as soon as possible after the end of each financial year, lay its report for that year before Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(3) The Agency may from time to time lay other reports before any of those bodies.

S-5 Advisory committees.

5 Advisory committees.

(1) There shall be established an advisory committee for Wales, an advisory committee for Scotland and an advisory committee for Northern Ireland for the purpose of giving advice or information to the Agency about matters connected with its functions (including in particular matters affecting or otherwise relating to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, as the case may be).

(2) The Secretary of State may, after consulting the Agency, direct that an advisory committee for, or for any region of, England shall be established for the purpose of giving advice or information to the Agency about matters connected with its functions (including in particular matters affecting or otherwise relating to the area for which the committee is established).

(3) The Agency may, after consulting the appropriate authorities, establish other advisory committees for the purpose of giving advice or information to the Agency about matters connected with its functions.

(4) Schedule 2 (which contains supplementary provisions about advisory committees) has effect.

General functions in relation to food

General functions in relation to food

S-6 Development of food policy and provision of advice, etc. to public authorities.

6 Development of food policy and provision of advice, etc. to public authorities.

(1) The Agency has the function of—

(a) developing policies (or assisting in the development by any public authority of policies) relating to matters connected with food safety or other interests of consumers in relation to food; and

(b) providing advice, information or assistance in respect of such matters to any public authority.

(2) A Minister of the Crown or government department, the National Assembly for Wales, the Scottish Ministers or a Northern Ireland Department may request the Agency to exercise its powers under this section in relation to any matter.

(3) It is the duty of the Agency, so far as is reasonably practicable, to comply with any such request.

S-7 Provision of advice, information andassistance to other persons.

7 Provision of advice, information andassistance to other persons.

(1) The Agency has the function of—

(a) providing advice and information to the general public (or any section of the public) in respect of matters connected with food safety or other interests of consumers in relation to food;

(b) providing advice, information or assistance in respect of such matters to any person who is not a public authority.

(2) The function under subsection (1)(a) shall be carried out (without prejudice to any other relevant objectives) with a view to ensuring that members of the public are kept adequately informed about and advised in respect of matters which the Agency considers significantly affect their capacity to make informed decisions about food.

S-8 Acquisition and review of information.

8 Acquisition and review of information.

(1) The Agency has the function of obtaining, compiling and keeping under review information about matters connected with food safety and other interests of consumers in relation to food.

(2) That function includes (among other things)—

(a) monitoring developments in science, technology and other fields of knowledge relating to the matters mentioned in subsection (1);

(b) carrying out, commissioning or co-ordinating research on those matters.

(3) That function shall (without prejudice to any other relevant objectives) be carried out with a view to ensuring that the Agency has sufficient information to enable it to take informed decisions and to carry out its other functions effectively.

General functions in relation to animal feedingstuffs

General functions in relation to animal feedingstuffs

S-9 General functions in relation to animal feedingstuffs.

9 General functions in relation to animal feedingstuffs.

(1) The Agency has the same general functions in relation to matters connected with the safety of animal feedingstuffs and other interests of users of animal feedingstuffs as it has under sections 6(1), 7(1) and 8 in relation to matters connected with food safety and other interests of consumers in relation to food.

(2) Section 6(2) and (3) apply in relation to the Agency's powers under this section corresponding to those under section 6(1).

(3) Section 7(2), in its application to the Agency's function under this section corresponding to that under section 7(1)(a), applies with the substitution, for the words ‘members of the public’ and ‘food’, of the words ‘users of animal feedingstuffs’ and ‘animal feedingstuffs’.

(4) In this section ‘safety of animal feedingstuffs’ means the safety of animal feedingstuffs in relation to risks to animal health which may arise in connection with their consumption.

Observations with a view to acquiring information

Observations with a view to acquiring information

S-10 Power to carry out observations.

10 Power to carry out observations.

(1) The Agency may, for the purpose of carrying out its function under section 8 or its corresponding function under section 9, carry out observations (or arrange with other persons for observations to be carried out on its behalf) with a view to obtaining information about—

(a) any aspect of the production or supply of food or food sources; or

(b) any aspect of the production, supply or use of animal...

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