Sir; It is with interest that I read that a new department of food and rural afairs is to be formed in the wake of the foot and mouth crisis. Not that I believe MAFF has particularly failed to perform in the context of what has been the most serious outbreak of the desease the developed world has seen. Rather, I am disappointed that, again, food consumption is being linked to food production in the new ministry. The trade might have fears that responsibility for food will go to the DTI, but this seems a reasonable place to control what is a production process. Then the product ­ our baked beans and beef ­ can be placed under the watchful eyes of a stronger FSA that has the function of guardian of food standards'. D McManus Clapham, London {{LETTERS }}