Appointment of New Food Standards Agency (UK) Chair

Joint announcement by the department of health, the scottish executive, the national assembly for wales and the northern ireland executive

Dame Deirdre Hutton - currently Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Authority, a member of the Better Regulation Task Force, Chair of the National Consumer Council and Deputy Chair of the European Food Safety Authority - has been appointed Chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), it was announced today.

Making the announcement John Reid, Secretary of State for Health, said:

"This is an extremely challenging role. The post requires considerable energy, leadership and communication skills, combined with a strong intellect, scientific literacy and an understanding of the complex and challenging external environment within which the Agency operates.

"I am delighted that Deirdre Hutton is taking on this role. She brings with her considerable experience of corporate governance and risk-based regulation and a very well developed understanding of consumer related issues. She has demonstrated her wide ranging skills in her work with the European Food Safety Authority and as Chair of the Foresight Panel where she worked on the Food Chain and Crops for Industry.

"I believe these skills, her clear sense of direction and strength of leadership will be invaluable to the Agency as it moves into this new phase."

Dame Deirdre Hutton said:

“I am delighted to be taking on this challenge. Sir John Krebs has successfully established the Agency as an independent voice, firmly based on sound science, which puts the interests of consumers first.

"The Agency is now entering a new phase. Diet, health and public protection are central to our aspirations. That will continue to develop according to the scientific and evidence base. My priority will be to take forward government, consumers and the food industry in partnership so that we can succeed together. I look forward to listening to all of our stakeholders on how best we can do that in the public interest."

Sir John Krebs leaves the Agency on 10 April and Dame Deirdre Hutton will take up her new position in late July. In the interim period Deputy Chair Julia Unwin will be Acting Chair and Richard Ayre will be acting Deputy Chair.

The appointment has been recommended following the completion of a recruitment exercise by an independent selection panel chaired by Sheila Forbes CBE along with representatives of the Health Ministers from each of the appropriate authorities and the FSA Board.

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