Food Standards Agency abolished

The food Standards Agency (FSA) will be abolished today by the Government. Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, will confirm the consumer watchdog is being scrapped when he sets out plans to overhaul the NHS.

The abolition is part of a drive to cut the number of quangos, but will fuel charges Mr Lansley is being soft on companies targeting junk food at families with young children. Doctors are also likely to disagree as they have called for "fat taxes" on unhealthy food. The NHS reform plans will be set out in a White Paper. Mr Lansley said they would cut the cost of NHS bureaucracy by £1bn.

The FSA has 2,000 staff and an annual budget of £135m. Its duties will be transferred to the Department for Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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