Food Law News - UK - 2009

FSA Press Release, 13 July 2009

FSA - Food Standards Agency welcomes Lord Rooker as its new Chair

The Food Standards Agency today welcomes the announcement of the appointment of Lord Rooker as its new Chair by the Secretary of State for Health.

Lord Rooker, a former Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), replaces the outgoing Chair Dame Deirdre Hutton and will take up his new duties on 27 July.

Tim Smith, Chief Executive of the FSA, welcomed the appointment: 'I am delighted that Lord Rooker will be joining us in this role and personally I very much look forward to working with him. His political experience and understanding of food issues make him an excellent choice for this challenging position. He brings with him a wealth of expertise that will help us continue the good work overseen by Dame Deirdre on behalf of consumers in achieving our twin objectives of safe food and healthy eating for all.'

Responding to his appointment Lord Rooker said: 'I am very pleased to have been offered this position particularly as I was involved in setting up the Agency in the late 1990s when I was a Minister at MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food). I believe it is vital we have an independent, non-ministerial department responsible for food safety, which is open and transparent. I am very excited about my new role and look forward to joining the Agency, which bases its work on sound science and puts the interests of consumers first.'

Notes to editors

1. For media enquiries please contact the Food Standards Agency Press Office on 020 7276 8888.

2. The appointment to the Chair of the FSA is made jointly by the Secretary of State for Health with the Health Ministers in the Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive, as the FSA is a UK-wide body.

3. Remuneration will be £54,000 per annum, for a time commitment of around eight days per month. The term of the appointment will be four years.

4. Lord Rooker started his career as an engineer; from 1957 to 1971 he worked as an apprentice and production manager in the engineering industry. He became a lecturer in management in 1972 at the Lanchester Polytechnic. From 1974 to 2001 he was a member of the House of Commons (Birmingham Perry Bar) and from 2006 to 2008 he was Deputy Leader of the House of Lords. From 1997 to 2008 he was Minister of State in six Government Departments including Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Home Office, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. His main Government roles have included Minister for Food Safety, Minister for Finance, Environment, Farming, Equality and Minister for Food and Farming. As Minister of State at MAFF Lord Rooker oversaw the establishment of the FSA.

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