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[SANET-MG] Reply to Krebs of the Food Standards Agency
The head of the Food Standards Agency Sir John Krebs (a famous bird
brain from Oxford) recently retired.He commented that his bizarre views
on organic food were based on "science" but he was hurt by people and
groups who did not agree with him. Actually Krebs views were not much
different from those of the Averys in the United States.
From the Times 16 april 2005 as distributed by GM Watch
The outgoing Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, Sir John Krebs, is
quite right to say that the Soil Association represents the views of
those who grow, process, sell and consume organic food ('Friends of the
corporate Earth', 12 April) - not something we have ever hidden, to put
it mildly! He is equally wrong to claim that his tenure at the FSA has
always been characterised by complete impartiality and reliance only on
scientific evidence. This is not the case with either GM or organic food.
As he surveys his tenure at the FSA, Sir John's touchiness about his
critics would be surprising, were it not for the unpublicised existence
of a review of his record - commissioned by the FSA itself. This
review, conducted by Baroness Dean, was slipped quietly onto the FSA's
website. It concludes that the "vast majority" of people consulted felt
that the FSA had "deviated from its normal stance of making statements
based solely on scientific evidence", when "speaking against organic
food and for GM food". Baroness Dean stressed that "This view was
expressed not only by stakeholders representing organic and GM interest
groups, but by those who would be regarded as supporters and natural
allies of the Agency".
So, as Baroness Dean makes clear, Sir John cannot blame, Friends of the
Earth, Greenpeace, the Soil Association or Which? (formerly the
Consumers Association) for this blot on the FSA's record. The FSA's
promotion of GM foods failed to convince the public, while damaging its
own reputation. Its attacks on organic produce have been constantly
used by those with a commercial interest in trying to damage organic
farming and food.
Policy Director, Soil Association,
Bristol House, 40-56 Victoria Street,
Bristol, BS1 6BY
T: 020 7482 3134 0117 987 4561
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