FAREWELL RECEPTION SPEECH FOR SIR JOHN KREBS
Delivered by Dr Yunes Teinaz,
Health & Management Advisor to the Director General, The
London Central Mosque Trust & the Islamic Cultural Centre,
and Principal Environmental Health Officer, London Borough
of Hackney, on 15 February 2005 at The London Central Mosque
Trust & the Islamic Cultural Centre
Assalamu alaykum WA
rahmatullahi WA barakatuhu.
Sir John, Chairman
of the Food Standards Agency, Dr Ahmed Al Dubayan, Director
General of the London Central Mosque Trust & the Islamic
Your Excellencies! Eminent guests, ladies and Gentleman.
When the Food Standards
Agency was formed in 2000 We were very sceptical about its
core values of: putting consumers first, to be open and accessible
and be an independent voice. Five years down the line, scepticism
of even heavy weight critic like me, is rapidly waning.
Performance of Food
Standards Agency, under your leadership, Sir John, has improved
by leaps and bounds. You have with the help of Board Members
and your staff, as promised managed to deliver measurable
improvement in public confidence in the way food safety and
standards are managed across the UK.
The FSA maintains an
excellent working relationship with the Muslim community and
regularly consult them on all the issues requiring their input,
or advice of issues that are of particular relevant to them.
As a member of the
ethnic minority community, I was very pleased to learn that
you had underpinned the requirements of the Race Relations
(Amendment) Act 2000 by establishing a dedicated Diversity
Branch in 2002 within the Enforcement Division.
This branch provides
very efficient Secretariat for the Muslim Organisations Working
Group, very ably Chaired by David Statham, who has directed
the initiation of many initiatives for the betterment of ethnic
minorities, such as the ‘Engagement with the Asian Community
I am sure you are aware
that I am an Environmental Heath Officer with a special interest
in combating the rotten trade in illegal and unfit meat. I
directly benefit from the remit of the branch to provide technical
advice to local authorities, in relations to the investigations
of the sale of illegal meat. Therefore, extending the role
of this branch to include the meat fraud portfolio is very
You may also be aware
that misdescribed, unfit and poor quality meat is deliberately
targeted at vulnerable communities. As the big consumers of
meat and poultry we Muslims are particularly affected by the
activities of the unscrupulous traders. Hydrolysed pork protein
in chickens and non- Halal meat sold as Halal, are the obvious
examples. Hence, I personally, I am very pleased to see the
meat fraud aspect.
We are in debited to
you for personally visiting us here in the Islamic Cultural
Centre about two years ago and informing us about the theoretical
risk of BSE in sheep. That visit to me personified the FSA’s
I am sure you know
that the Muslim religion is a complete way of life and therefore
observance of our dietary laws is very important to us and
we hope that your successor will be as passionate about the
protection of Muslim consumers’ rights as you are.
Today, Sir John, we
bid you farewell with mix feelings, we are sad to loose one
of the very capable leader but are happy that you are returning
to your academic roots, where I am sure you will make a mark
an excel by utilising the transferable skills, you have no
doubt, acquired whilst working for the FSA.
On behalf of the London
Central Mosque Trust & the Islamic Cultural Centre; and
my colleagues at the London Borough of Hackney I wish you
well and once again thank you very much for all you have done
for the Muslim Community and the Nation.