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WALES TO HAVE VOICE ON FOOD AGENCY, SAYS DAVIES

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Wales is to have a strong voice on the government's Food Standards Agency which is expected to be fully operational...
Wales is to have a strong voice on the government's Food Standards Agency which is expected to be fully operational before the end of 1999, Welsh secretary Ron Davies said yesterday.

Welcoming the publication of the White Paper, 'The Food Standards Agency: A Force for Change', Mr Davies said: 'It has long been clear that there is a need to reform the government's arrangements for handling food standards issues. The proposals for the agency represent a radical approach to the handling of these issues and one which places public health as a clear priority.

'The interests of Wales will be fully covered under the proposals we are advancing. The agency itself will be overseen by commission consisting of a chairman and no more than 12 members, including one member with special responsibility for Wales.

'An independent advisory committee will also be formed to advise the commission of Welsh interests, and will provide a link between the Food Standards Agency and the national assembly for Wales.

'We will also be establishing a Welsh Executive within the UK Agency to take over the existing food safety and standards functions of Welsh Office officials.

'My officials will be consulting with interested parties in Wales, representing consumer, enforcement and industry interests, and the results of this consultation will inform the drafting of the Bill to establish the Agency.'

Note

The White Paper 'The Food Standards Agency - A Force for Change' is available in English and Welsh from Stationery Office outlets priced£10.50.

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