FSA launches consultation on reforms to ‘innovative products’ authorisation process

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The FSA and FSS hopes to speed up the approval process for innovative new food products. Credit: Getty / acilo
The FSA and FSS hopes to speed up the approval process for innovative new food products. Credit: Getty / acilo

Related tags Regulation

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), in tandem with Food Standards Scotland (FSS), is consulting interested parties on proposed changes to how regulated products are authorised.

Certain products such as food additives and flavourings are known as regulated products and need to be authorised as safe before they can be sold.

However, the FSA and FSS have now proposed reforms to this process with the intent of allowing the UK to keep pace with innovation in the food industry and offer consumers greater choice.

Currently, the two bodies are required to carry out a robust risk analysis process before providing advice to ministers in England, Wales, and Scotland, who then decide whether the product can be sold.

This system to inherited from the EU and the FSA and FSS are keen to modernise the process in order to allow safe, innovative products to come to market more quickly.

Launched on 3 April 2024, the consultation details two proposed changes to the existing authorisation process and calls on interested parties to provide their views on the potential impact, benefits and challenges. The opinions provided will help inform the advice offered to ministers later in the year.

The reforms propose removing the requirement to both renew authorisations every 10 years and lay legislation before regulated products can be authorised. The consultation is available on the FSA website and responses are required by 5 June. 

Commenting on the consultation’s launch, FSA director of policy Rebecca Sudworth said: “The FSA and FSS want to create a modern and streamlined Regulated Products Service that will bring benefits to consumers. We are working hard to improve the current system, although it’s clear that more change is needed.

“The two proposals detailed in the consultation can be delivered quickly to help streamline how the system works. The changes will improve the process to authorise regulated products, helping us to achieve a more efficient service. Food safety or standards will not be reduced in any way.”

In other news, Southwold-based brewer Adnams has sought to clarify its position following rumours of its potential sale.

Related topics Food Safety Flavours and colours

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