The government has named Professor Sir John Krebs, former chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council and a Professor at Oxford University, as chairman of the Food Standards Agency. It was also revealed that Suzi Leather, current chair of Exeter and District Community NHS Trust, will be his deputy, and Geoffrey Podger, head of the FSA's shadow agency, is to be chief executive. Commenting on his appointment, Sir John said: "I want the Agency to become a beacon of openness and a model for the best use of science. "My priority in the run-up to the Agency's launch will be to meet with representatives of consumers and all the other stakeholders, particularly food manufacturers and retailers." The announcement ends months of speculation surrounding possible candidates for the job. Sir Hugh Pennington was suggested as a possibility by industry experts while Sir John's candidacy was described as "bizarre". The government also announced the FSA board members for Scotland and Wales. Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, principal and vice- chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, has been appointed Scottish member of the FSA board along with Michael Gibson, vice-convenor of the Scottish Landowners' Federation. Sir John Arbuthnott also becomes chairman-designate of the Scottish Food Advisory Committee. Dr George Paterson, current director general of the Food directorate, is Scottish director of the Food Standards Agency. The Welsh representative will be Ann Hemingway ­ recently retired head of sales at British Gas. The agency, with a budget of £125m, is due to take control of food safety and standards issues in the spring. lSee opinion, page 22 {{NEWS }}