The Food Standards Agency has the potential to radically alter the way in which the regulation of food is dealt with in the UK. Its powers range from formulating policy to monitoring and setting standards for enforcement of food legislation. In order to understand how the Agency fits into the complex structure of food regulation, it is necessary to have an understanding of how regulation of this area has developed and the status quo prior to the introduction of the Agency. This book attempts to set the Agency in context, dealing with its powers and functions and how they can be exercised, in addition to highlighting areas of potential controversy and challenge.
The Agency is intended to cover the whole range of food issues, 'from plough to plate' (the European Commission, where the inclusion of matters equine in the food chain presumably raises fewer eyebrows, uses the phrase 'from stable to table'). The Agency will, for example, be concerned with animal feed, an area which is perhaps belatedly now receiving the consideration which it warrants.