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Latest Food Safety Report Covers Meat Control, 'Horsegate'

25 September 2013

UK - The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched the seventh Annual Report of the Chief Scientist, which includes trends of foodborne disease, modernisation of meat controls and the horse meat investigation.

The seventh Annual Report of the Chief Scientist provides an overview of how the Agency has used science and evidence during the past year.

It also includes trends of foodborne disease and updates on the Agency’s work to tackle the public health impact of foodborne disease. It also covers a range of other topics including food allergy and food intolerance, modernisation of meat controls, and the horse meat investigation.

Commenting on the report, the FSA's Chief Scientist Andrew Wadge said: "It shows that while the Agency has been through many changes since it was established in 2000, it has remained true to its founding principle of being science- and evidence-based. In addition, it demonstrates our commitment to the other core principles on which the Agency was established – openness and transparency, and putting the consumer first."

Agency-funded Research

The report shows how the FSA commissions and uses its science and evidence knowledge to drive food safety policy and advice. It highlights a selection of FSA research and includes information about all of the science and evidence-gathering projects funded by the Agency in the past year, including financial details.

The FSA committed £21 million of funding to science and evidence-gathering work, during 2012/13, including funding of £10.6 million to risk-based enforcement and compliance, £5.3 million to chemical safety-related work, £3.1 million to hygiene and microbiology work, £1.4 million to cross-cutting/strategic work, and £200,000 to dietary health. Of the FSA's total science and evidence-gathering expenditure, 11 per cent was on co-funded projects.

The Launch

The report was launched yesterday, 24 September, at the 'Using science and evidence: How the FSA helps to keep food safe' event in London.

Keynote speaker, Professor Ian Kimber OBE, explored the challenges in food allergy, including whether we are seeing an increased prevalence, and the causes and mechanisms that underlie the disease. He also discussed the work that the FSA and bodies across the world are doing to manage this growing problem.

Ian Kimber is Professor of Toxicology in the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester, and advisor to the Agency’s Food Allergy and Intolerance Research Programme.

During the event, Sue Hattersley, Head of the Agency’s Food Allergy and Intolerance Branch, gave a presentation that focused on the work the Agency is doing to help to reduce the risk of individuals developing a food allergy and having a food allergic reaction. This covered the Agency’s research programme, food allergen legislation, food allergen management thresholds and managing food allergy incidents.

You can read the Annual Report of the Chief Scientist 2012/13 by clicking here.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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