12 January 2000
Disappointment as Krebs named ‘Food Czar’
By FWi staff
THE appointment of zoologist Professor Sir John Krebs as chairman of the new Food Standards Agency has been met with disappointment.
Consumers have voiced disappointment that Sir John was appointed to his new 96,000-a-year role even though he has no direct experience of food safety.
Sir John is best known for recommending the governments controversial badger cull, aimed at discovering whether the animals pass tuberculosis to cattle.
The cull has been criticised by farmers, who say ministers should do more to prevent bovine TB, which has spread to areas free from the disease for 40 years.
Sir Johns new role means he will become the countrys first “Food Czar”, overseeing safety issues, when the Food Standards Agency is set up later this year.
He will take an overview of food safety and standards across the whole food chain, from farm to fork, with the main aim of protecting public health.
Sir John said he was delighted to become the agencys first chairman. The safety and quality of food matters to every single person in this country, he added.
“I want the Agency help strengthen the system even more, so that everyone can have confidence that public health is being properly protected.”
But the Consumers Association said a stronger leader would have been preferred for the food agency which is expected to begin operating later this year.
However, Sir Johns deputy chairman at the 125 million body, will be Suzi Leather, who has twenty years experience in consumer representation.
Mr Geoffrey Podger, head of the Ministry of Agricultures Joint Food Safety and Standards committee, has been named as the agencys chief executive.