GM engagement project chair announced
Wednesday 16 September 2009
At today's Agency open Board meeting, Tim Smith, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency, announced that Professor John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde, is to chair the independent steering group that will advise the Agency on its forthcoming consumer engagement work on genetic modification (GM).
Professor Curtice has considerable experience in conducting research into social and political attitudes.
The Agency has been asked by the Government to lead a dialogue project to explore the subject of GM with consumers. This project will provide an opportunity to discuss with consumers their understanding of GM and what they think it might bring in terms of risks and benefits. It will also explore how people can be helped to make informed choices about the food they eat.
The FSA, as an independent Government department, will set up a small steering group, which will include stakeholders involved in different areas and with different views of GM. At this stage, it is anticipated that this work will take around 12 months.
The FSA is absolutely committed to representing the interests of UK consumers and, while this work will not directly change UK Government policy, it will help to inform future discussions in this area.
The Agency will carry out this dialogue in an open and transparent way and will publish any updates on this as appropriate.