This was not to be self-regulation as operators' controls would be subject to robust audit by the competent authority. It would, however, allow quality control, which is really what meat inspection is, to be carried out cost-effectively.
The FSA board was right behind this. In discussions on Geoff Tierney's Review of Models for Delivering Official Controls, the board strongly supported FBOs having responsibility for meat inspection. The board minutes say: "It was essential that this option (FBOs carrying out meat inspection) was kept open as our long-term preferred model (for delivering controls)."
So I was astonished to hear Tim Smith, CEO of the FSA, recently say on Radio 4's You and Yours that he would not want his family to eat meat that had not been inspected by a government employee. Has FSA policy changed without discussion in public? Or was Tim just giving a personal view?