RF1 - Foresight to support the statutory function
The Government Chemist must be in a position to act as referee analyst in any case referred in accordance with statutory requirements. Advances in analytical technology and changing industrial practices impact directly on the GC’s preparedness to deliver referee cases. For example, adventitious (accidental and technically unavoidable) contamination between products may be claimed in a defence under the Food Safety Act. However, in such cases, a detailed understanding of current industry practice allows the GC to give an opinion on the validity of such a defence.
The recently established European Food Safety Authority is taking a major interest in enforcement aspects of food safety legislation, and is developing best practice principles for sampling and analysis to ensure a common approach throughout. It is essential that the GC maintains awareness of such changes and participates as far as possible in developing legislation to ensure that due account in taken of the associated analytical issues.
This project allows for a dialogue to be maintained with relevant stakeholders including regulatory bodies, enforcement agencies and the industries involved. GC representatives will also participate in the standards making process through a variety of formal and ad hoc groups.
There will also be a regular review of the legislative scope of the GC statutory function to highlight possible scientific consequences of new practices and regulations, in order to prioritise forward work.