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Eversheds comment: Professor Chris Elliott calls for robust reforms to tackle food fraud

  • United Kingdom

    04-09-2014

    Professor Chris Elliott's final report into food authenticity has been published today, calling for a "robust, effective" Food Crime Unit to protect the industry and consumers from criminal activity. David Young, partner and food safety expert at law firm Eversheds, who participated in the initial consultations with Professor Elliott in the run up to the final report, commented:

    “Having identified in the interim report the key challenges, the final report makes key recommendations under eight headings – the “eight pillars of food integrity” – consumers first, zero tolerance, intelligence gathering, laboratory services, audit, Government support, leadership and crisis management.

    “Many of these recommendations are around the capture of information and how it is shared to increase knowledge and transparency. None of them are unexpected in the sense that no new issues have emerged since the interim report. The most interesting and challenging recommendations are inevitably around intelligence gathering (the development of a “safe haven” to do this), an overhaul of the largely self-regulating food industry audit regime to make it more focused and effective and a positive presumption that all food incidents are treated as a risk to public health until the contrary is proved. This last recommendation should raise the profile of the integrity of the UK food chain and keep it high.”

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