Last week, The Guardian newspaper ran a story Government bee scientist behind controversial study joins pesticide firm in which it reported that Dr Helen Thompson will leave the UK Government’s Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) to join Syngenta, one of the pharmaceutical companies that has been heavily involved in the bee and pesticides debate.
Concern was expressed in some quarters about scientists “zigzagging” between the regulators and industry and the impact this might have on Government policy.
Dr Max Watkins, Technical Director of Vita, who might be expected to be uncomfortable about such switching is in fact very relaxed about this move. “I know Helen Thompson quite well from my contact with FERA over many years. Helen is a prominent scientist in her field, and of whom I have the highest regard. Her professionalism and integrity have never been in question. I wish her the best of luck in her new role at Syngenta.”