Report on horsemeat confusion

The Government must remove the confusion that marred the response to the horsemeat contamination crisis and improve its understanding of potential food fraud, according to a report.

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Split led to confusion in horsemeat scandal

A split in responsibilities between the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Whitehall in 2010 has led to confusion about the role of the FSA and Defra in responding to food authenticity incidents during the horsemeat scandal, according to a report.

An FSA review has already found that some of its staff and local authorities were confused about why the agency was taking the lead in investigating the incident during the early stages of the horsemeat incident.

The NAO said local authorities had reported that they remained unclear about who to contact regarding certain areas of food policy.

Report: Government must tackle horsemeat confusion

The Government must remove the confusion that marred the response to the horsemeat contamination crisis and improve its understanding of potential food fraud, according to a report.

Confusion remains in the wake of the horsemeat scandal. Credit: Jan Haas/DPA/Press Association Images

The National Audit Office (NAO) said the Government failed to identify the possibility of adulteration of beef products with horsemeat, despite indications of heightened risk.

And it found that while arrangements for identifying and testing for risks to food safety were "relatively mature and effective", similar arrangements for the authenticity of food were not.

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