Mark Whitehead 30 May 2018

Brexit threatens UK’s access to food safety systems, warn council chiefs

Council leaders have called on the Government and the EU to ensure that the UK's access to Europe-wide food safety and animal health systems remains available after Brexit.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says failure to protect sources of key intelligence will weaken councils’ ability to protect public health and increase the risk of a new food scandal.

The UK is currently part of the European framework of rules and systems which ensures the traceability of high risk products and provides intelligence about contamination.

But leaving the EU without agreement on this would leave regulators 'in limbo', the LGA says.

It says that whatever form the final Brexit agreement takes, the UK’s access to these key mechanisms must be maintained.

Kevin Bentley of the LGA's Brexit taskforce, said: 'The UK has painful recent experience of the damage that is caused when food and feed are compromised.

'If we lose access to these databases, we will lose access to vital intelligence about the origin of food, feed and animal products, and won’t be aware when rapid alerts are issued to the rest of the continent.

'This will significantly weaken our ability to effectively protect the food system, increasing the risk of a new scandal and undermining public confidence in the food industry.'

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