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Principles for the Treatment of Independent Scientific Advice

Many factors (cost, public opinion, legal constraints, international obligations etc) might influence the development of policy, but reliable evidence and expert advice provide the crucial foundations of good decision-making.

Expert advice to Government comes from many sources, including external consultants, learned societies and external independent organisations, departmental statisticians and scientists and the Government Chief Scientific Adviser. However, the Government's independent advisory bodies, composed of scientists and other experts who provide their service without payment, play a crucial role. The importance of safeguarding the independence and objectivity of these committees has been explicitly recognised by Government and the wider society since the Phillips Report (2000) into the BSE crisis.

The procedures for obtaining scientific and other expert advice are laid out in the Government's Guidelines on Scientific Analysis in Policy Making. Independent advisers have responsibilities defined by the Government Office for Science's Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees, as well as the Terms of Reference and Codes for individual bodies, Advisers are expected to offer their best and fairest interpretation of the available evidence and of the range of opinion among experts.

Courtesy, professionalism, and recognition of the division of responsibilities (including the recognition that it is the ultimate responsibility of the Government to decide policy) should underpin the relationship between Government and its independent advisers.

The following Principles, which summarise key features of the relationship between ministers and independent advisers, as expressed in the Codes and Guidelines, are aimed at underpinning the quality and impartiality of evidence and the independence of advisers, as well as recognising the distinctions between evidence, advice and policy. Adherence by Government to these Principles will enhance confidence in the system and will help secure sound evidence and the best advice.

The Principles

  1. Academic Freedom
    Members of independent advisory groups are unpaid experts, most of whom have professional careers and reputations that depend on freedom to express their views openly and without restriction, and which may be of higher priority to them than providing advice to Government.
    • Members of independent advisory committees are free to communicate about their interpretation of evidence, whether via scholarly publication and conferences, through the general media or to parliament, subject to normal standards of professional conduct and the restrictions in existing Codes of Practice, notably:
      • respecting confidentiality,
      • not claiming to speak for the Government, and
      • making clear whether communication is on behalf of their committees
    • Where independent advisers are required to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements, for reasons of national security, etc, these should be confined to specified areas of committee work, objectively justified, publicly acknowledged and regularly reviewed.
  2. Independence of Operation
    The ability to attract advisers of the highest quality, and public trust in the advisory system, depend on the actual and perceived independence of advisory bodies. This independence includes the right of advisors to public discussion about evidence and advice that are not accepted by Government, within the constraints of professional conduct.
    • Appointments to advisory bodies should be made by a transparent process, and on the basis of expertise
    • Independent advisory bodies are protected from political and other interference in their work and in communication of their findings
    • Advisory committees have the right of access to an independent press office
    • The public articulation of advice and discussion of its treatment by Government by advisers, even when that advice has not been accepted by government, cannot, of itself, be grounds for censure, sanction or dismissal.
  3. Proper Consideration of Advice
    Evidence depends on the rigorous analysis of data; advice should be firmly based on evidence but inevitably reflects opinion and interpretation; policy may be influenced by considerations other than expert advice. Both the evidence and the advice provided by expert committees should be thoroughly and seriously considered by ministers.
    • Reports from committees will be published subject to legitimate constraints. Ministers should not prejudge advisory committee reports by criticising or rejecting them prior to publication.
    • If the Government is minded to reject a recommendation, the relevant advisory committee will normally be consulted before a final decision is made
    • It is recognised that some policy decisions are contingent on factors other than scientific evidence, but when expert advice is rejected, the expectation is that the reasons would clearly be set out.
    • The evidence provided by expert committees does not cease to be valid if their advice is rejected or not reflected in policy

Ministers may choose to challenge or reject advice, but in doing so they should avoid misrepresenting evidence or criticising the individuals giving the advice.

In the case of doubt about the reliability of evidence presented by independent advisers, or the conduct of advisers, ministers should confer with the Government Chief Scientific Adviser.

The Government Chief Scientific Adviser should also be consulted by independent advisers if they feel that the Principles are not being upheld.

We ask the Government to affirm its support for these principles.

Signatories 

THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE HAVE ENDORSED THE PRINCIPLES INDIVIDUALLY, NOT ON BEHALF OF THEIR INSTITUTIONS OR COMMITTEES:

Dr Dima Abdulrahim

Senior researchers, National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse
Member of Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (2002-)

Professor Peter J Aggett OBE FRCP FRCPCH

Emeritus Professor Child Health and Nutrition, University of Central Lancashire
Vice Chair Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition FSA/DH (2000-)
Member Committee on Medical Aspects of Nutrition and Food Policy, DH (1993- 2000)
Chairman of COMA Panel on Nutritional Assessment of Infant Formulas (1995-1996)
Chairman of COMA Working Group on Nutritional Status of the Population (1995-1998)
Vice Chairman Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment DH/FSA (1998-2003; Member 1993- 2003)
Chair of COT Working Group on Variability and Uncertainty in Toxicology Risk Assessment (2007)
Chairman of COT Working Group on Food Intolerance in the Population (1997-2000)
Vice Chair of COT Working Group on Risk Assessment of Mixtures of Pesticides and similar Substances (2000-2002)
Member Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (1994-2000 & 2002-3)
Member European Commission Scientific Committee on Food (1993-96)

Professor Peter Atkins FRSC

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Oxford
Fellow, Lincoln College, Oxford
Former chairman, IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education

Professor Jon Ayres FRCP FFOM

Chair, Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP)
Chair, Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP)

Professor Anthony T Barker

Consultant Clinical Scientist, Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Member of SAGE, government funded Stakeholder Advisory Group on ELF EMFs

Professor David Barnett CBE MD FRCP

Emeritus Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Leicester
Chair Appraisals Committee for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (1999 - 2009)

Professor Sir Colin Berry

Emeritus Professor of Pathology, Queen Mary London
Chairman, Advisory Committee on Pesticides (1988 – 1999); Member (1981–1988)
Chairman, Scientific Sub-Committee on Pesticides (1985 – 1988); Member (1977-1985)
Chairman, Committee of Dental and Surgical Materials (1982 – 1992); Member (1978-1981)
Member, Toxicology Group, Expanded Programme on Human Reproduction, World Health Organization (1979-1992)
Member, Committee of Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (1984-1989)
Member, Committee on Safety of Medicines (1990–1992)
Member, Committee on Safety of Medicines Advisory Panel (1994-2002)
Member, Scientific Committee for Pesticides of the Commission of the European Communities (1985 – 1989)

Professor Sheila M. Bird CStat FFPH

MRC Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge
Member of Scientific Pandemic Influenza Advisory Committee
Inaugural chair of Home Office's Surveys, Design and Statistics Subcommittee and member of Home Office's Scientific Advisory Committee (2004-2009)
Member of Medicines Commission (1991-1995)
First Statistician Member of Appraisal Committee for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence ( 1999-2005)
Member of Ad Hoc TSE/BSE Sub-Group of EC Scientific Steering Committee (1999 - 2003)
Member of Scientific Committee for European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) (2001-2005)
Member of Arrestees Survey Scientific Advisory Group (2003 – 2006)
Member of Government Chief Scientist's Review Panel on use of science by Home Office (2007)
Member of Medical Research Council /Department Health Research Advisory Group on TSEs (1998-2004)
Member of Research Council/Department of Health Steering Group for Studies of the prevalence of detectable PrP^SC (1999- 2004).

Professor Janet Bainbridge

Chair of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (1997- 2003)
Chair of the GM Organisms (contained use) Advisory Committee
Formerly Vice President Government and Europe of the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)
Chair of the HSE Committee Scientific Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification (2003 - )
Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (1997 - 2003)
Member of ACRE (Advisory Committee on Releases into the Environment)
Member of the MHRA Borderline substances review group
Former Senior Specialist Advisor (Government and Europe) OneNorthEast Regional Development Agency

Dr Margaret Birtwistle

General Practitioner Consultant in Addictive Behaviour
Senior Tutor in Addictive Behaviour, St Georges, University of London
Member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)

Professor Colin Blakemore FMedSci FRCP (Hon) FIBiol (Hon) FRS

Professor of Neuroscience, Oxford University
Chair of the Food Standards Agency's General Advisory Committee on Science
Chair of the Health Protection Agency’s Electromagnetic Fields Discussion Group
Commissioner of the UK Drug Policy Commission

Professor Sir Walter Bodmer FRS FMedSci

Head of Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory, Oxford University
Former Chairman, National Radiological Protection Board (NPRB, now part of HPA)
Former President, Royal Statistical Society
Former Director General, ICRF (now part of CRUK)
Formerly member of the Advisory Board of the Research Councils
Formerly member of the Biology Board of the Medical Research Council

Professor Alan R Boobis OBE FSB CBiol FBTS

Dept of Experimental Medicine and Toxicology, Division of Investigative Science, Imperial College London
Member of UK Advisory Committee on Pesticides (1997-2002)
Deputy chairman (2000-2002)
Chairman of Medical and Toxicology Panel (2000-2002)
Member of the Veterinary Residues Committee (2001-2004)
Member of the European Food Safety Authority Scientific Panel on Plant Health, Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) (2003-2009); vice-chair from 2006-2009
Member of European Food Safety Authority Scientific Committee Working group on the Benchmark Dose (2006-2009)
Member of European Food Safety Authority Scientific Committee Working Group on Risk-Benefit Assessment (2007-)
Member of the European Food Safety Authority Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) (2009-)
Member of WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Food Safety (1997-)
Member of the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (1999-); Chair/vice-chair (2003-2007)
Member of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (Residues of Veterinary Drugs) (1997-)
Member of HPA Board Sub-Committee for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (2005-)
Member of Committee on Carcinogenicity (2003-)
Member of Committee on Toxicity (2003-); vice-chair from 2008

Professor Gustav Born FRCP FRS

Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, University of London
Member, Committee on Inquiry on the Relationship of the Pharmaceutical Industry with the National Health Services (1965-1967)

Lord Broers Kt FRS

Past President, Royal Academy of Engineering
Past President, now Member, House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee
Past Member, CST

Ian Brown OBE FRCP FFOM

Chairman of the Pesticide Residues Committee
Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs
Member of the General Advisory Committee on Science
Member of the Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances

Professor Alan Bundy

Professor of Automated Reasoning, University of Edinburgh
Scottish Scientific Advisory Council

Professor David Coggon FMedSci

Occupational and Environmental Health, MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, Southampton University
Chair, Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (2008 - )
Member, Operation TELIC Health Research Programme Review Board (2003 - )
Chair, Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme Management Committee (2008 - )
FSA General Advisory Committee on Science (2008 - )
Chair of the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (Ministry of Defence) (2001-2007)
Chair of the UK government’s Advisory Committee on Pesticides (2000-05)
Member of the Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (Health Protection Agency)
Member of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council
Member of the Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards
Member of the Stewart Committee on Mobile Phone Technology

Sir David Cox FRS

Former President, Royal Statistical Society

Professor Robert Curnow

Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health
Epidemiology Sub-Group of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
Former President, Royal Statistical Society

Professor Dame Kay Davies CBE DBE FMedSci FRS

Head of Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford

Professor Anthony D Dayan DM FRCP FRCPath FFPM FFOM

Emeritus Professor of Toxicology, St Bertholomews and the Royal London Hospitals, QMC, University of London
Former member of Medicines Commission Veterinary Products
Former member of Gene Therapy Advisory Committee
Former member of Committee on Toxicity
Former member of Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP)
Former member of Advisory Committee on Pesticides
Former member of Industrial Injuries Advisory Council
Advisory Committee on Animal Experimentation
Advisory Committee on Radiation in the Environment
Advisory Committee on Industrial Chemicals

Dr Peter M B English

Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, Health Protection Agency
Various bodies relating to vaccination, including National Child Health Immunisations Programme Board

Professor Peter Farmer

Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester
Chair of Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COM)
Member of Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC)
Member of General Advisory Committee on Science (GACS)

Professor Malcolm Ferguson-Smith FRS

Emeritus Professor of Pathology, University of Cambridge
Member of Committee, BSE Inquiry

Lord Flowers FRS

Former Rector, Imperial College London
Former Chairman, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution

Professor Sir Richard Gardner FRS

Honorary Professor and Emeritus Royal Society Professor, Universities of Oxford and of York
Advisory Board for the Research Councils 1988-1992

Diana Garnham

Chief Executive, The Science Council
Chair DBIS Science and Society Science for Careers Expert Group

Professor Azra Ghani

Member of Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (2007- )

Professor John Geddes

Professor of Epidemiological Psychiatry, University of Oxford
Member, Technology Appraisal Committee, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2003- )
Member, Health Services and Public Health Research Board, Medical Research Council (2006-2008)
Member, Neuroscience and Mental Health Board, Medical Research Council (2008- )

Christine Gratus

Independent 'lay' representative Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (2003 - )
Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (2006 - )

Professor Peter Green FRS

Professor of Statistics, University of Bristol
Former President, Royal Statistical Society

Professor Norman N Greenwood FRS

Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds
Member of numerous Government Boards and Advisory Committees during a period of over 40 years

Professor Andrew P. Grieve BSc MSc PhD

Division of Health & Social Care Research, Department of Public Health Sciences, King's College
Member of UK Food Standards Agency Working party on Variation and Uncertainty in Toxicology Working Party (2004 - 2005)
Member of Commission on Human Medicines Ad Hoc Expert Group on Bioequivalence (2007 - )
Member of Commission on Human Medicines Expert Advisory Group on Clinical Trials (2007 - )
Member of Commission on Human Medicines Ad Hoc Expert Group Antibiotics in pre-term labour (2008-2008)

Professor Hugh Griffiths FREng

Thales/Royal Academy of Engineering Chair of Radio Frequency Sensors, University College London
Chair, Campaign for Science & Engineering

Professor David Hand

President, Royal Statistical Society

Professor Rosemary Hails MBE

Section Head, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Member of the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment
Member for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Environment Working group
Chair, Natural Capital Initiative

Dr Matthew Hickman

Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol
Member of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

Professor Christopher F Higgins FRSE FRSA FMedSci

Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Durham University
Chair, Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC)

Professor Sir Gabriel Horn FRS

Emeritus Professor, Department of Zoology, Cambridge
Chairman, Working Party Report to Department of Health, Brain science, addiction and drugs Acad Medical Science (2008)
Chairman, Working Party Report to DEFRA, Review of the origin of BSE (2001)
Chairman, Cambridge University Government Programme (1997-2007)

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins CBE FRS

Meteorology Department, University of Reading
Director of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College
Member of Climate Change Committee
Chair Science Review of UKCP09 for Defra, Jan 2009

Professor Peter Hudson FRS

Director of Life Sciences, Penn State University
Previous Science Advisor to The House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture

Professor Will Irving

Professor of Virology, University of Nottingham
Advisory Group on Hepatitis: Member (1998-2005), Deputy Chair (2006-08), Chair (2009-)
Member of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (2003-)
Co-opted Member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Hepatitis C Prevention Working Group (2007-09)
Chair of the Trent Cohort Study of Patients infected with Hepatitis C Virus

Professor Les Iversen FRS

Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, University of Oxford
Member of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, ACMD (2003- )

Professor Alan Jackson

Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton
Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Food Standards Agency / Dept of Health (2000-)
Member, Committee on Medical Aspects of Food & Nutrition Policy (COMA), Dept of Health (1991-2000)
Chairman, Working Expert Group on diet & Cancer to COMA, Dept of Health (1993 – 1998)
Member, Working expert Group on the Nutritional Status of the Population, and Folic Acid Subgroup to COMA, Dept of Health (1995 - )

Professor Michael J Kelly FRS FREng

Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge
Former Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for Communities and Local Government Former Member of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council

Professor Christopher Kennard FMedSci

Head, Department of Clincal Neurology, University of Oxford
Chairman, Neuroscience and Mental Health Board, Medical Research Council

Dr Leslie A King

Former member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (2008-2009)

Sir John Kingman FRS

Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge
Chairman, Science & Engineering Research Council (1981-85)
Chairman, Statistics Commission (2000-03)

Lord Krebs Kt FRS FMed Sci

Principal, Jesus College, Oxford
Chairman of the UK Food Standards Agency (2000-2005)
Member and Chair of sub-group for UK Climate Change Committee
Chairman of the Royal Society's Science Policy Advisory Group
Chairman, UK Science and Technology Honours Committee
Chair, enquiry by the Science and Technology Select Committee into Nanotechnology and Food (2009)

Professor Chris Leaver CBE FRS FRSE

Emeritus Professor of Plant Science, University of Oxford
Former member of ACOST
Member of GM Science Review

Lord Lewis of Newnham FRS

Former Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Former Chairman, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution

Professor Denise Lievesley CStat ACSS

Professor of Social Statistics and Head of School of Social Science and Public Policy, King's College London
Former president of the Royal Statistical Society and the International Statistical Institute

Professor Peter Liss CBE FRS

Professorial Fellow, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
Global Environmental Change Committee
Marine Science Coordination Committee: Chair of Marine Data and Information Network, and Chair Underwater Sound Forum

Dr Robin Lovell-Badge FRS

Head of Division, Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics, MRC National Institute for Medical Research
Co-opted member, Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee of the HFEA
Ad hoc advice to Government and Parliament on issues to do with embryology, stem cells and genetics, for example leading up to the HFE Act (2008)

Dr John Marsden

Reader in Addiction Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Member of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, ACMD (2005 - 2009)

Professor Duncan Maskell

Head, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
Marks and Spencer Professor of Farm Animal Health, Food Science and Food Safety

Professor Peter Matthiessen

Independent Consultant in Ecotoxicology
Member of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, and its Environmental Panel
Former member of the Biocides Consultative Committee

Lord May OM AC Kt FRS

Joint Professorship Oxford University and Imperial College, London
Former President of The Royal Society (2000-2005)
Former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government
Head of the UK Office of Science and Technology (1995-2000)
Member of the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee

Klim McPherson PhD FFPH FMedSci

Visiting Professor of Public Health Epidemiology, University of Oxford
Chair, NICE PDG on prevention of CVD in populations
Chair, National Heart Forum
Member Cross Government expert group on obesity
Member of CSM (1997-2003)
Member Expert groups on women's health (2004-2009)
Expert advisor to ACMD (2003-2008)

Professor John McWhirter FRS FREng

Distinguished Research Professor, School of Engineering, Cardiff University
Former Government Scientist (MoD)
Former President of the Institute of Mathematics (IMA)
Chair of the Council of Mathematical Sciences

Professor Tom Meade DM FRCP FMedSci FRS

Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Chairman (1976) and member of Joint Standing Sub-Committee on Screening in Medical Care (1972-77)
Member of Adverse Reactions Sub-Committee of Committee on Safety of Medicines (1976-82)
Member of joint CSM/JCVI Sub-Committee on Adverse Reactions to Vaccines and Immunological Products (1980-82)
Member GO-Science Review of Department of Health (2007-2008)

Dr Fiona Measham

Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Lancaster University
Member of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, ACMD

Professor John E Moore

Clinical Microbiologist, Belfast City Hospital

Professor Neville Moray

Emeritus Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology, University of Surrey
Member of the HSE Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee

Professor Richard Morris FRS

Professor of Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh
Coordinator, Foresight Project on Cognitive Systems, Office of Science and Technology, DTI (2002-2006)

Professor Denis Noble CBE FRS Hon FRCP

Emeritus Professor and Director of Computational Physiology, University of Oxford
Chairman of Joint Dental Committee (MRC and Departments of Health) 1984-1990
Former Member of government Advisory Group on Science and Technology in Japan
Member of government Advisory Group on Science, Technology and Industry in Korea (DTI) 1994-2004
Member of Advisory Group on non-ionizing radiation (AGNIR), Health Protection Agency (HPA)
Chairman of sub-group of AGNIR on Ultrasound

Professor Sir Paul Nurse FRS

President, Rockefeller University
Member of Council of Science and Technology

Professor David J Nutt MRCP MRCPsych FRCPsych FMedSci

Edmond J SafraChair in Neuropsychopharmacology, Imperial College London
Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD); member (2000-2009); chair (2008-2009)

Professor Richard Perham FRS FMedSci

Emeritus Professor of Structural Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

Sir Richard Peto FRS

Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Oxford
Member of former DH Scientific Advisory Committee on Tobacco or Health

Professor David H Phillips

Institute of Cancer Research, The Royal Marsden
Chair, Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment
Member of Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment
Member of General Advisory Committee on Science

Professor Michael Pilling

Chair, Air Quality Expert Group 2001-2009

Professor Chris Pollock CBE

Director of the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth University
Chair of the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) (1999-)
Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of the First Minister of Wales (Welsh Assembly Government)
Chair of the independent Scientific Steering Committee for the programme of farm-scale evaluations of GM crops
Chair, Defra Research Priorities Group for Sustainable Farming and Food

Professor Guy Poppy

Head of School, Biological Sciences, University of Southampton
Advisory work for EU, EFSA and DEFRA on the environmental risks of GM crops (1996-)
Member of Prime Minsiters Strategy Unit evaluation team of GM crops (2003-2004)
Member of Parliamentary and Scientific Committee Delegation to China (2000)

Dr Ian Ragan

Former Member of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, ACMD (2008-2009)

Professor Chris Rapley CBE

Director, Science Museum
Professor of Climate Science, University College London

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins

Chairman, National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Chairman, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (1998-2008)

Professor David J Read FRS

Former Vice President of the Royal Society
Chair of Forestry Commission Advisory Board on Forest Research

Lord Rees of Ludlow

President of the Royal Society

Professor John Shepherd FRS

Professorial Research Fellow, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton
Member, DEFRA Scientific Advisory Committee & Council (2002-2009) Member, EC Scientific & Technical Committee for Fisheries (1983-1986)

Professor Brian G Spratt CBE FRS FMedSci

Professor of Molecular Microbiology, Imperial College London
Chair, Royal Society Working Group on Health Hazards of Depleted Uranium Munitions (2000-2003)
Member, Depleted Uranium Oversight Board, Ministry of Defence (2001-2006)
Chair, Independent Review of Safety of Facilities Handling Foot and Mouth Disease Virus, DEFRA 2007
Member, Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (1997-2001)
Independent Review for Ministry of Defence on The Health Hazards of the Large-scale Release of Bacteria during the Dorset Defence Trials 1999
Member of Council, Defence Scientific Advisory Council (2005-2008)

Professor Terence Stephenson

President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Member, Committee on Safety of Medicines

Professor Trevor Stuart FIC FRS

Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Imperial College London
Member, Council of Science and Engineering Research Council (1989-1994)
Former President of the London Mathematical Society (2000-2002)

Professor Joyce Tait CBE FRSE

Scientific Adviser, ESRC Innogen Centre, University of Edinburgh
Chair, Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party on 'New Approaches to Biofuels'
Member, Scottish Science Advisory Council
Member, Industry and Science Expert Group
UK Government Cabinet Office Strategy Unit Study on Costs and Benefits of GM Crops
Ex-President, Society for Risk Analysis, Europe

Professor Martin Taylor FRS

Physical Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society

Dr Polly Taylor MRCA MRCVS

European Veterinary Specialist in Anaesthesia
Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol br> Member of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, ACMD (2002 - )

Professor Dame Jean Thomas DBE FRS FMedSci

Biological Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society
Professor of Macromolecular Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

Hazel Thornton

Honorary Visiting Fellow, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester Independent 'Lay' Member, Steering Group for the Department of Health NHS Connecting for Health Public Consultation on the Additional Uses of Patient Data

Professor M P Vessey CBE FRS FMedSci

Emeritus Professor of Public Health, University of Oxford
Chairman, Advisory Committee on Bowel Cancer Screening
Member, MHRA Women's Health Expert Advisory Group
Member, HPA Advisory Group on Ionising Radiation: Subgroup on Solid Cancer Risk

Professor Vincent Walsh

Professor of Human Brain Research, UCL
Office of Science & Technology Foresight Life Sciences panel (2002-2003)
Royal Society Animal Sciences Committee (2001 - 2009)
Medical Research Council Quinquennial Review Committee of Cognition and Brain Unit, Cambridge (2009)
Medical Research Council Cognitive Neuroscience Strategy Group (2009)
Medical Research Council Neuroscience & Mental Health Board (2005-2010)
Medical Research Council Basic Research Oversight Group (2005-2008)

Professor Robin A Weiss FRS FMedSci

Professor of Viral Oncology, University College London
Former President of the Society for General Microbiology
Former member of the Department of Health Expert Advisory Group on AIDS
Former member of the Department of Health Gene Therapy Advisory Committee
National Biological Standards Board


The Board of the Food Standards Agency also endorsed the statement.