Warwick 'not involved' as FERA announcement nears

The University of Warwick says it is not involved in the take-over of Government agency the Food and Environment Research Agency.

Defra is due to announce the new owners of the agency this week.

Biotech companies Syngenta and Bayer have already said they are not taking over FERA, which will be known by its acronym after Government loses control.

The York-based agency has already split off its plant health inspection to the new Animal & Plant Health Agency, based in the same building as FERA in York.

A commercial partner for the rest of FERA, which has 550 staff, has to be announced before the "purdah" ahead of the general election. FERA staff said the chosen bodies from the 33-organisation applicant list, which has been mooted to include multinational biochemical firms, supermarkets and universities, and which has already been delayed since early January and is now due in mid-February, Defra has indicated.

Warwick University merged Warwick HRI with its department of biological sciences into a new school of life sciences in October 2010. Warwick HRI was formed in following the integration of the former Government body and the University of Warwick.

A University representative confirmed the university was not involved with the FERA changes.

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