Food Standards Agency deputy chair, Suzi Leather, is to step down from her post at the end of the year.

Leather, who has held the position since April 2000, is to focus on her work as chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Expressing his appreciation for the work Leather had carried out FSA chairman Sir John Krebs said: “Suzi has played a very significant role in championing the interest of the consumer, helping to establish the FSA, and shaping its policies.”

FDF Director General Sylvia Jay said: “FDF is sorry that Suzi will be stepping down from her post at the FSA, although we know that she will have a very big job to do at the HFEA.

"Her contribution to what we in the FDF have described as "our lifeline" - the FSA - has been invaluable, both to the development of the agency in its first, sensitive years, and to creating an atmosphere of openness and credibility with both manufacturers and our consumers.”