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News 380 views update:Feb 3, 2010

NZ & UK work together for food safety

Stronger scientific links between New Zealand and Britain will result from the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) signing an agreement with its British counterpart.

The NZFSA has signed an arrangement with the UK Food Standards Agency (UKFSA). The UKFSA has a similar role to NZFSA and is responsible for protecting consumer interests in relation to food safety and food standards.
Under the arrangement, NZFSA and the Food Standards Agency will cooperate in areas of mutual interest, such as science, nutrition, and composition and labelling. We will share information and expert networks, and host study tours and staff exchanges.

“NZFSA and the UKFSA have always had a good and productive working relationship, and we have learned a great deal from each other,” says NZFSA chief executive Andrew McKenzie. “Close relationships with the world’s other top food safety authorities are integral for NZFSA to achieve its mandate of protecting consumers. The arrangement cements our strong relationship, and provides us with new opportunities to expand it, particularly in the area of science.”

The Food Standards Agency’s chief executive Tim Smith said the UKFSA was delighted to have its close working relationship with NZFSA formally recognised. “This agreement will enable more effective and speedier sharing of information, policy and best practise particularly around emerging issues and food incidents, the science informing our food safety and nutrition work, as well as composition and labelling. In a world where global food production and trade becomes ever more complex, this close working is a major asset in helping us to protect consumers within and across national boundaries, as well as improving the information available.”

NZFSA has similar agreements with Health Canada and Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Related link:

New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA)

Natalie Berkhout

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