7 July 1995

Scots re-think

GOVERNMENT has pledged to look again at the plan to close Scotlands only food science laboratory.

The move, announced last month, has angered scientists, who claim it threatens essential research into a killer E coli "burger bug". They say scientists at the Torry laboratory, Aberdeen, are at the forefront of research into the bug, which has killed 10% of its victims.

Members of the union representing MAFF scientists cornered Mr Waldegrave on Monday as he visited the Royal Shows Food Pavilion. Mr Waldegrave agreed to their request to consider an alternative plan to save Torry put together by the Aberdeen scientists.

They claim the plan to relocate some of the Torry research work to York will disrupt research by breaking up the team working on the E coli bug found in undercooked beefburgers, cheese and milk.

A spokesman for the scientists union added that Torry was the only food science laboratory in Scotland and its closure would be "a real blow to Scottish workers and the Scottish identity".