The Food Standards Agency has failed to show it is up to the job, according to Parliament’s most powerful watchdog.
Despite three years of high profile existence, it has neither impressed the public nor the organisations it is supposed to
influence.
This blistering verdict was delivered by the Commons Public Accounts Committee, which said the agency needed to take a good look at itself.
In a hard-hitting report, the all-party committee admitted concerns about how the FSA had not yet convincingly demonstrated it could take the lead on food safety issues.
Nor had it managed to become “an authoritative and trusted voice”. The MPs said it needed to do more to pass on information more widely and quickly.
In addition, clarity was needed about the agency’s roles and responsibilities. The committee’s Tory chairman Edward Leigh said: “It is disturbing the FSA has not yet demonstrated convincingly it is able to lead on issues of food safety and standards. It needs to monitor the extent to which its advice and information is being used - and develop a long-term strategy to boost its profile.”
A spokeswoman for the FSA said: “We recognise there is still a lot more that we need to do to and we will draw on the report as we develop our work”.
However, she added that according to the FSA Consumer Attitudes Survey, to be published in the new year, public awareness of the agency was now at 76%.