There’s been some worry that the eventual list of brands with a novel food application validated by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) will reveal commercially sensitive information such as which brands are currently contracted to which ingredient or white-label goods suppliers.
But the FSA has not indicated that such information would be included in any list. And there is no reason for it to be. The point of such a list would be for enforcement agents and other entities to know which products are allowed to be on the market and which do not have a validated application and thus should be removed.
A simple A-Z list of permitted brands and companies – uncoupled from which validated application gave them permission to be on the UK market – would suffice. There is no real need to disclose which validated application from a consortium, ingredient manufacturer or individual submission gave them the right – only that they are permitted to remain.
Given the FSA’s history in dealing with sensitive commercial information in a variety of contexts – for example food safety submissions – it seems unlikely the agency would not have thought of a way to publish the pertinent information without the commercially sensitive elements.
Whether the FSA can make the 1st April deadline by which such a list should be available however remains to be seen. And rumours that the FSA has changed its declaration on publication from 1st April to just ‘in April’ suggests that it may not be ready by the initial deadline.
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