25 November 1999
Mixed reaction to FSA favourite

THE front-runner to head up the new Food Standards Agency (FSA) gets a mixed reception from sources interviewed by the Financial Times.

The newspaper says reaction to reports that Sir John Krebs is to be chairman has ranged from the “pleasantly surprised to the frankly astonished”.

The 54-year-old zoology professor has little experience outside academia and he appears to be entering a political minefield beset by bitter feuding.

A blueprint drawn up by Professor Philip James, head of Aberdeens Rowett Institute, outraged food processing companies by including nutrition and public education in the agencys remit.

Another row broke out over funding. Initially, ministers insisted that the food industry should pick up the bill but following another row, the Treasury eventually agreed to fund the agency.

The choice of deputy chairman and the 12 board members is unlikely to pass without critical comment.