The National Consumer Council is urging the government to respond to a "crisis of consumer confidence in food production and farming" by setting up a temporary food and farm commission'. NCC chairman Deirdre Hutton said: "Recent crises have severely damaged confidence in food safety and agricultural policy. "The formation of the Food Standards Agency is a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done. "By bringing together farmers, retailers and consumers, a commission could explore the future of farming and food production and make suggestions as to how the government could be structured in order to deliver a more sustainable policy. Hutton added: "We need a thorough-going and radical agricultural policy if we are to prevent crises like BSE and foot and mouth happening again." NCC researchers had found that since the foot and mouth outbreak, more than two thirds (67%) of consumers believed the government was not doing enough to address the future of farming and food production. Almost two thirds (62%) believed their health could be at risk from the way in which animals are fed. In addition, almost a quarter (23%) of consumers have changed, or are considering changing their eating habits. And almost three quarters (71%) of consumers do not believe they have received sufficient information about the way in which farming methods affect their food, according to the NCC research. Hutton said the results showed that consumers did not feel the government was dealing adequately with the current problem in farming and food production. "We have been asking the authorities for years to give more information to consumers and this underlines the importance of that." {{NEWS }}