Here's what Cherwell magazine reported on Krebs' appointment
as first Head
of the FSA:
Shock food decision
Claire Price and Clare Yeowart
The appointment of Sir John Krebs, zoology professor at Oxford, as chairman
of the new EU Food Standards Agency was announced last week. The Consumers
Association has expressed disappointment that the government had not
appointed a "strong, credible, consumer chair" for the agency.
The professor will chair the new FSA of 500 staff which will oversee all
food policy issues on a budget of £130 million. His role will be to
evaluate scientific evidence and to explain the science to the public. Sir
John will earn a salary of £96,000 for a four day week.
The Professor's appointment was justified by David Byrne, the Health and
Consumer Protection Commissioner. He claimed that a prestigious figure was
needed to give the new agency a "dependable reputation". Levels of public
confidence in food safety have been low after the BSE crisis and scandals
over dioxins and sewage in animal feed.
Professor Krebs admitted that he had no track record in food or consumer
policy but insisted that he wanted the agency to be "a beacon of openness
and a model for the best use of science".
He added that he wanted to strengthen the "already high standards" of food
safety to ensure that "everyone can have confidence that public health is
being properly protected". Yet his appointment continues to be the centre of controversy, particularly in view of his much-criticised badger culling experiment to curb tuberculosis in cattle."