No one has done more activist-research on the subject than her. She is the author of countless pro-plain pack studies going back to 2008 (eg. here, here, here and here). She is the author of such editorials as 'Welcome to cardboard country' and she is on the record saying that "there is no place for powerful branding imagery on packs".
It's hard to imagine a less suitable person to be judge and jury. Even if Wakefield wasn't personally committed to the policy - and she clearly is - she would be biased towards finding a positive effect because all her previous work has concluded that there should be a positive effect. Her appointment makes a mockery of the concept of independent review (see also Linda Bauld and the smoking ban). How can the government justify spending three millions bucks on this farce?
On a different note, new evidence emerges from Down Under than stupidity is contagious. Not only has Simon Chapman been able to charge good money for a book that can be legally downloaded for free, but the tweet below (sent by a science journalist!), suggests that he may have been the smartest guy in the room...
@SimonChapman6 multitasking #CancerCongress: selling, signing, answering phone. Emperors beware! pic.twitter.com/8ouckLw5RY
— Satu Lipponen (@Lipponen5) December 5, 2014
It's not a phone. It's a credit card machine.
Have a good weekend.