Food safety body appoints new chief scientific adviser

The organisation responsible for ensuring the quality and safety of food in Scotland has appointed a new chief scientific adviser.

Professor David Gally, a leading microbiologist currently working at the Roslin Institute, will become the second ever chief scientific adviser for Food Standards Scotland when he takes up the role next month
Professor David Gally, a leading microbiologist currently working at the Roslin Institute, will become the second ever chief scientific adviser for Food Standards Scotland when he takes up the role next month

Professor David Gally, a leading microbiologist, will be the second ever chief scientific adviser for Food Standards Scotland.

Currently personal chair in microbial genetics at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, he will take up the new role in early January.

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He replaces Professor Norval Strachan, Food Standards Scotland’s first chief scientific adviser, who was hired in 2016 and completed his tenure earlier this year.

Professor Gally is backed by more than 20 years of leadership and scientific research experience, with a focus on food-borne infections, and has contributed to more than 100 academic publications.

His new responsibilities will include commissioning and evaluating research, risk analysis and communicating scientific and public health advice.

He said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role as chief scientific adviser at Food Standards Scotland, and look forward to supporting the organisation in developing its strong foundation in science to ensure all of its work on food safety and healthy eating continues to be underpinned by the most up to date and robust evidence.”

Geoff Ogle, chief executive of Food Standards Scotland, thanked Professor Strachan for his work as the first chief scientific adviser and welcomed his replacement.

“I am pleased that David brings equally high scientific experience that will undoubtedly support us in delivering our broad remit around food and feed safety, improving the Scottish diet and representing the broader interests of consumers,” he said.

“David Gally’s appointment ensures a continuation of the high-quality scientific advice and support previously provided by Professor Norval Strachan.

“Science and the use of evidence are key in ensuring consumers trust us as an organisation and the advice we provide so it is fantastic to have someone of David’s calibre on board where he will help ensure that our scientific output is robust.”

The appointment is the organisation’s second addition to its senior management team in recent months, following the appointment of Julie Hesketh-Laird, previously chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, as strategy director in November.

It also marks a year of organisational growth for Food Standards Scotland, geared up for responding to new Brexit responsibilities.

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