Last updated on 27 September 2012
Report highlights the FSA's use of science
A comprehensive description of how the Food Standards Agency planned, commissioned and used science during the past financial year is published today in the FSA Chief Scientist’s sixth Annual report.
The report, written in a style accessible to a wide audience, includes information on trends of foodborne disease, and covers a wide range of topics, from social science research into attitudes and behaviours to food through to 'next generation' scientific detection techniques. Such techniques could make the investigation of foodborne disease outbreaks quicker and more effective in the future.
Commenting on the launch of the report, FSA Chief Scientist Andrew Wadge said: 'Who would have thought, even 50 or 60 years ago, that science would be making such a major contribution to food safety, and that we would all be living longer and healthier lives as a result?
'There can surely be no better investment than in improving food safety to reduce the incidence of foodborne disease. This report illustrates how the FSA commissions and uses its science and evidence knowledge to drive food safety policy and advice.
'It highlights in detail a selection of our research, and includes information about all of the science and evidence-gathering projects funded by the Agency in the past year, including financial details. It’s all money very well-spent.'
The report shows that in the 2011 to 2012 financial year the FSA committed funding of £6.6m to chemical safety-related research, £2.4m to cross-cutting strategic research, £0.4m to dietary health, £11.5m to risk-based enforcement and compliance, and £3.8m to hygiene and microbiology research. Financial details of all of the Agency’s co-funded projects are also included.
The report is being launched officially this evening in London at an FSA conference on Approaches for Managing Foodborne Disease. Conference keynote speaker Professor Sarah O’Brien is set to explore how molecular biology tools, such as next generation sequencing, could help make progress in the investigation of foodborne disease outbreaks.
Professor O’Brien is Professor of Infection Epidemiology and Zoonoses at the University of Liverpool. She is also Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food.
An interactive version of the Annual report of the Chief Scientist 2011 to 2012 can be found at the link below.