The Food Standards Agency (FSA), the government body for the protection of the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food, is to be abolished by Andrew Lansley, the health secretary.
The FSA, which has 2,000 staff and an annual budget of £135m, is responsible for issues including the Scores on the Doors food hygiene scheme among catering businesses as well as menu labelling.
Lansley is set to confirm the abolishment of the agency in an announcement today (Monday 12 July).
The scrapping of the FSA is part of a NHS reform and a drive to cut the number of quangos. Its duties are likely to be transferred to the Department for Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The move has sparked accusations that the Government has given in to big business.
Andrew Burnham, Labour's health spokesman, said: "Getting rid of the FSA is the latest in a number of worrying steps that show Andrew Lansley caving in to the food industry. It does raise the question whether the health secretary wants to protect the public health or promote food companies."
By Kerstin Kühn
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