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JK Rowling may have just published another bestseller, but it’s a bit short on science content.

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How do we know whether a government policy really works? There’s a lot of expertise across government in evaluating policy or policy ideas. Recently, however, the Cabinet Office has been looking at carrying out randomised controlled trials (RCTs) as a way of getting a clearer idea about the effectiveness of an intervention compared to doing nothing.

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For most of us, a bout of food poisoning – though extremely unpleasant – is inconvenient rather than life threatening. But those with suppressed immune systems, whether due to illness, chronic disease, medication, increasing age or pregnancy, are more likely to suffer from food poisoning and also to suffer serious consequences as a result.

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I was fortunate to be asked to speak at EFSA about independence and scientific decision-making – and how we’ve used this to build trust in food safety in the UK. Just being given the opportunity to talk about this subject is a nod to the success that we have had here.

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We love a good robust debate here at the FSA and few subjects bring out the ‘robustness’ of people’s views like a discussion on GM crops. So to ensure that a range of views get an airing our latest edition of Bite Magazine is a GM special.

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Judging by its press release it seems we’ve upset the National Farmers’ Union. The Agency’s Board decided not to support relaxing the ban on processed animal proteins (PAP) in feed, and the NFU is extremely disappointed. So disappointed it not only plans to challenge the decision, but has written to the agriculture minister to raise concerns over how the decision was reached.

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