Scottish food crime agency planned

Adulterated meatScotland will have its own food fraud unit after the country's new food standards agency starts operating later this year.

On April 1 the current UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) will see its responsibilities in Scotland replaced by Food Standards Scotland (FSS), which will take over the country's food safety, standards, nutrition, labelling and meat inspection operations.

The FSS will be based in Aberdeen under the leadership of Geoff Ogle, who currently heads the Scottish unit of the FSA. The decision to set up a dedicated unit in Scotland was taken in the wake of the horsemeat scandal which emerged in the UK in 2013.

The FSA has been conducting extensive testing since then to check that beef products on sale or supplied into the UK food-chain were accurately labelled and did not contain horse meat DNA, following the discovery of horse meat in a range of products for sale across Europe, reports the Herald Scotland newspaper.

Last year, the FSA set up its own Food Crime Unit - headed on an interim basis by Richard Hoskin - to spearhead operations against food fraud in England and Wales. The move followed the publication of the delayed Elliott report, which calls for a national food crime prevention network with government, regulators and industry working together to protect public health.

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