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Food Standards Act 1999

Summary and Background

3.The Act gives effect to the proposals of the White Paper, ‘The Food Standards Agency: A Force for Change’ (Cm 3830). A draft Bill was published for consultation in the Command Paper ‘The Food Standards Agency: Consultation on Draft Legislation’ (Cm 4249) on 27 January 1999. The draft Bill was examined by the Food Standards Committee, whose report was published on 31 March 1999 (House of Commons Food Standards Committee Report of Session 1998-99 (HC 276) on the Food Standards Draft Bill).

4.The Act was introduced in the House of Commons on 10 June 1999 and received Royal Assent on 11 November 1999.

5.The main purpose of the Act is to establish the Food Standards Agency, provide it with functions and powers, and to transfer to it certain functions in relation to food safety and standards under other Acts. It sets out the Agency’s main objective of protecting public health in relation to food and the functions that it will assume in pursuit of that aim, and gives the Agency the powers necessary to enable it to act in the consumer’s interest at any stage in the food production and supply chain. The Act provides for the Agency’s main organisational and accountability arrangements. In addition, it provides powers to establish a scheme for the notification of the results of tests for food-borne diseases.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


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