Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act have exposed serious flaws in the Food Standard Agency’s handling of the Sudan 1 crisis, according to leading law firm CMS Cameron McKenna.
The FSA automatically opted for a product recall, which should have been a last resort measure, instead of carrying out a proper risk assessment, said safety, health, environment and products department solicitor, Jessica Burt. “They’ve missed out a whole stepping stone of looking at whether in normal conditions of use these minute amounts of contaminant present a real risk to health.”
Burt criticised the FSA for
relying too much on public perception of risk in its decision -making and said that the FSA’s stance was “out of step with other European authorities”.
If an illegal substance were found in the supply chain, it should be the responsibility of retailers and manufacturers to remove the risk by withdrawing the product, she suggested. The responsibility should not fall to consumers via unreliable recalls, which she said should only be carried out “when other measures are not sufficient”.