Joint announcement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Professor Phillip Thomas has informed the Food Standards Agency and Agriculture Ministers that he is standing down as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs (ACAF), a post he has held since the committee was established in 1999.

Professor Thomas announced his decision at a meeting of the committee yesterday (Wednesday 2nd May). Dr Ian Brown, a committee member, has agreed to act as temporary chairman until the Food Standards Agency and UK Agriculture Ministers appoint a permanent replacement.

Professor Thomas was appointed by Agriculture and Health Ministers, before the Food Standards Agency came into being in April 2000. He has completed two years of his three-year appointment. He has decided to stand down at this stage to engage more fully in other interests. He will continue to support the work of the Food Standards Agency as a member of the Scottish Food Advisory Committee.

Professor Sir John Krebs, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said today: "Phil Thomas has chaired the ACAF with distinction for the last two years. The Committee's latest annual report, published a few days ago, is testimony to the time and effort that its chairman and members have put into considering sensitive issues of great public concern, such as GM ingredients in animal feed. I look forward to publication later this month of the committee's Report on the Review of Animal Feed Labelling, which will be of interest to food consumers and producers alike."

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. ACAF was established in 1999, and consists of a chairman and 12 members from wide-ranging backgrounds, including science; consumer issues; enforcement; farming, and the feed industry. The committee's terms of reference are:

    "To advise on the safety and use of animal feeds and feeding practices, with particular emphasis on protecting human health and with reference to new technical developments. In carrying out its functions, the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs will liaise with other relevant advisory committees as appropriate."

  2. Professor Thomas is originally from Wales, but has been based in Scotland for much of the last 28 years. He is a chemistry graduate with a PhD in animal biochemistry and has a wide range of experience in research, education, and technology transfer. Professor Thomas has held a number of academic posts, including Principal of the West of Scotland College; Professor of Agriculture at the University of Glasgow, and Principal of the Scottish Agricultural College - a post he held for eight years, until January 1999. He now works as an independent consultant.