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Written Answers. - Food Safety Authority.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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 192. Dr. Upton Information on Mary Upton Zoom on Mary Upton  asked the Minister for Health and Children Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin  the progress being made on the establishment of an all-Ireland food safety body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25771/02]

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. T. O'Malley): Information on Tim O'Malley Zoom on Tim O'Malley Under the Good Friday Agreement, an agency with responsibility for the promotion of food safety, the Food Safety Promotion Board – FSPB – was established as one of the six North-South implementation bodies. The FSPB is the body with an over-arching role on the island of Ireland in the promotion of food safety.

The functions of the FSPB, as provided for in the British-Irish Agreement Act, 1999 are as follows: the promotion of food safety, research into food safety, the communication of food alerts, the surveillance of food-borne diseases, the promotion of scientific co-operation and links between laboratories, the development of cost-effective facilities for specialised laboratory testing.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland – FSAI – was established in July 1999 and it took over responsibility for the enforcement of all food safety legislation from the various official agencies that traditionally had responsibility – health boards, the Department of Agriculture and Food, the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, local authorities, etc. In addition to its enforcement role, the FSAI provides advice and guidance to Departments and agencies, the food industry and researchers. The Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland has a similar advisory and enforcement role to that of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. I am satisfied that existing arrangements to ensure food safety are operating satisfactorily.

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