Crop Biotech Update

New Crop Protection and Food Research Agency Launched in the UK

January 16, 2009

A new government agency has been created in a bid to strengthen research on food and the environment in the United Kingdom. The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) will work in plant and crop protection, food chain safety, crises response and environmental risk assessment.

The new organization brings together the country’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Central Science Laboratory, Plant Health Division, Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate and the Plant Variety Rights Office and Seeds Division into one entity. Farming Minister Jane Kennedy noted that the new agency will strengthen Defra's food, farming and environmental research program. Defra explained that Fera will enable a more rapid response to protect the public interest, and remove delays for businesses involved in both national and international trade.

Read the media release at