FSA may be split-up under Conservatives
Published:  01 February, 2010

A future Conservative government would split up the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as part of its plan to improve public health strategies.

The Tories would rename the Department of Health, the Department of Public Health, and shift its focus onto the prevention of illness rather than just its cure. In the green paper ‘A Healthier Nation’, the party proposes moving parts of the FSA responsible for the nutritional content of food, as well as a slimmed down Health Protection Agency, into the newly named department, while the FSA’s food safety work would remain within Defra.

The Department of Public Health would take direct responsibility for key issues that need to be addressed nationally, such as major public health campaigns and, for example, would have directed the emergency planning for a bird flu pandemic influenza, and the recent swine flu pandemic response.

The green paper adds: “There will be clear lines of accountability from local directors of public health to the Secretary of State so that we can provide common responses to national public health challenges, coordinate the prevention of specific diseases that pose an immediate national threat and provide an integrated response to outbreaks of emergent or re-emerging infectious diseases.”

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