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The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced that it is considering future changes to the regulated products approval process across its regimes.


Over the last year, it has been reported that the FSA was considering how to speed-up the approval process of cell-based meat and novel food technologies, after a report by Deloitte found that the move could significantly aid the UK in meeting its carbon reduction targets.


The report stated that the FSA could allow products such as cell-based meat to reach the market faster by scrapping the existing – and lengthy – novel foods laws.


Today, the FSA’s deputy director of food policy, Natasha Smith, told The Cell Base: “The FSA is committed to supporting business innovation in new markets like that of cell-cultivated products, whilst making sure food is safe and is what it says it is. Ensuring the safety of any new and innovative food product, including cell-cultivated products, is paramount, and we must balance fast paced technological advances and industry demands for rapid approval processes with protecting public health.”


She continued: “We are currently considering future changes to the regulated products approval process across all regimes, and we will be discussing this reform further at our March board meeting. We continue to engage with the cell-cultivated products industry to gain their insights about how to best manage applications and to set expectations about the approval process, including timelines and the type of information that applicants should provide when submitting a product dossier.”


The agency also said that across regulated products (including novel foods), it is currently exploring how best to update and reform existing regulations to deliver service improvements that benefit consumers, businesses and other stakeholders.


In a statement the FSA said: “We are progressing a set of priority reforms with the aim of bringing products to market under a shortened timeframe, without compromising food safety or consumer confidence. As part of our commitment to this, we have focused resource within the FSA to look at options for more transformative reform of the food and feed regulatory system. We aim to present an update on this work to the FSA board in Spring 2024.”


Seth Roberts, policy manager at international nonprofit and think tank the Good Food Institute Europe, commented: "As indicated at its most recent board meeting, the FSA is putting forward recommendations for modernising and future-proofing how it assesses and manages products including cultivated meat, and we look forward to seeing the proposals in March.


He concluded: "Provided it is underpinned with the necessary capacity and skills, a revamped novel foods framework will be a significant boost to the UK's competitive advantage in developing and commercialising alternative proteins."


#FoodStandardsAgency #FSA #UK

FSA considering changes to regulated products approval process

Phoebe Fraser

19 January 2024

FSA considering changes to regulated products approval process

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