In the first part of this exclusive interview at the event – hosted and sponsored by DWF – Watkins said the law already enabled businesses to deliver allergen messaging in the most appropriate way.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove launched the hotly anticipated review of allergen labelling legislation on 25 January. This has brought into focus just how much of UK food law comes from the EU, although the UK still chooses how to enforce it.
The review was primarily sparked by the tragic death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan Laperouse after eating a baguette containing sesame bought at a Pret A Manger outlet.
Speaking three days before the launch, Watkins said the consultation would add to the significant legislative shake-up the UK food industry would face in relation to Brexit.
In order for the UK to continue operating at the same high level of food standards after its exit from the EU, Parliament would need to transfer EU regulations into domestic law.
‘Tsunami of legislation’
“One can expect a tsunami of legislation at some point in the not-too-distant future to try to bring those standards across – all of which need to be transposed in order for us to have that same framework moving forward,” he said.
“Will that happen day one? I would be very surprised there was anywhere near the time to do it, not least that we still have a number of the headline bills (such as the Agriculture Bill) that are still not acts of parliament.”
Meanwhile, look out for the second part of this exclusive interview, as well as more coverage from this year’s Business Leaders’ Forum in next month’s issue of Food Manufacture magazine and online.
Music: Tech Live Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/