Andrew Miller (academic and GM advocate)

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Prof Andrew Miller[1], was a Food Standards Agency board member from April 2003, who as General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh took the lead role in seeking to reassure the Scottish Parliament's Health and Community Care Committee over the safety of GM Crop Trials - the Committee were not convinced by his evidence.

After the committee reported, the Scottish Executive published a rebuttal of the Scottish Parliament's Health and Community Care Committee's report on GM Crop Trials, rejecting all of its recommendations. Ross Finnie, Scotland's Minister for the Environment and Rural Development, was quoted as saying, "The views of the Committee members are clearly at odds with the evidence of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Executive's independent scientific advisers."

In fact, the members of the Health Committee had listened to and read the evidence of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, as presented by its general Secretary Prof Andrew Miller, and had found it less convincing than the evidence and analysis provided by other scientists. It now emerges, however, that Prof Miller, the very scientist whose evidence and presentation the Health Committee found so unconvincing, has been appointed by the Scottish Executive, via its First Minister, Jack McConnell, to the board of the Food Standards Agency.

Prof Miller is one of three new members who will join a board charged with the overall strategic direction of an organisation responsible for safeguarding consumer interests. He will also be in a position to influence the advice to the devolved administration in Scotland, ie he'll be amongst those scientific advisers by which Ross Finnie sets such store.

Ever get the feeling that the public oversight of this technology is actually a private conversation amongst a tiny group of like-minded individuals?[2]

Miller's 'everything's fine' testimony to the Health Committee is here:

Miller is also a member of the The RSE's Science Centre & Society Steering Group and from July 2004 was Secretary and Treasurer of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.[3]