Agency reverses position after reading blog posting!

The power of a Whitehouse blog-post is unprecedented! A UK Government agency has reversed its policies after reading one of my earlier postings.

The Food Standards Agency has announced that it is today reversing its previous decision not to process applications for novel food approvals.

The Agency’s Director of Communications, Stephen Humphreys, tells me: “Your blog on novel foods dossiers was flagged up to me this morning. We’ve reviewed the position and I’m pleased to say that normal service is being resumed. We will therefore be processing novel food applications as normal.

“However due to the current volume of applications, we are going to advise people that there will be a delay before applications can be checked and formally accepted. We are however working to clear the backlog as quickly as possible. As you noted a significant number of applications do come via us – over the last four years we estimate between 40% and 50%. So we will continue to remind people that companies can make novel food applications via any of the Member States, and that the option of approaching another Member State is available.”

I’m delighted to hear that the FSA has taken heed of the points I raised in my previous article and have changed their position on this important issue. Let’s hope that things aren’t just stuck in the pipeline and that the Agency invests the necessary staffing resources to maintain its reputation for efficiency. This change of heart is good for British, European and indeed global business.

Chris Whitehouse