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Published on Dec 10, 2013
Since well before the current economic crisis, funding and resources for food sampling and analysis have been progressively falling. This means that the number of products that can be tested has fallen rapidly, which has led to a system where products are only tested when we already know there is a problem.
Incidents such as the recent horse meat issue not only damage consumer confidence; they can also potentially damage the UK food industry, which the Government is trying to grow to boost the economy.
With this in mind the Royal Society of Chemistry held a panel discussion to tease out the issues to be tackled in order to move beyond the current news story to a safer state of food security for the UK.
The panellists were: Chair: De Derek Craston, the UK Government Chemist and Chief Scientific Officer at LGC Mr Gerald W Heddell, Director of Inspection, Enforcement and Standards Division at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Dr Mark Woolfe, formerly of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and currently a member of the RSC's Analytical Methods Committee Ms Liz Moran, President of the Association of Public Analysts