Environment Food and Rural Affairs
David Heath (Somerton and Frome, Liberal Democrat)
The Food Standards Agency, and not DEFRA, has responsibility within central Government for food law enforcement, which includes the routine monitoring of foodstuffs to ensure compliance with the legislation on food quality, composition and standards.
However, the administration of a food authenticity research programme that funds the development of methods to detect food mis-labelling and food fraud was an area of responsibility that transferred from the Food Standards Agency to DEFRA in July 2010 under the Machinery of Government changes. Three posts were transferred from the agency to DEFRA as a result of that change. The methods developed under the food authenticity research programme are used by trading standards officers and public analysts in official control laboratories in carrying out their enforcement duties.