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英国论文代写范文精选-Food Standards Agency

2016-06-03 | 来源:51Due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

51Due英国论文代写网精选assignment代写范文:“Food Standards Agency”,这篇论文介绍了食品标准局。食品标准局作为一个英国政府部门,负责对粮食安全和标准的各方面的管理。它的作用包括风险(通过科学的专家委员会)评估以及风险沟通和管理。其中,该机构带来了许多变化是开放的新承诺。

The Food Standards Agency is a new UK government department with responsibility for all aspects of food safety and standards. Its job is to give useful advice and make policies that work, based on the best available scientific evidence. Some of that comes from the Agency’s own in-house staff, but much is provided by outside experts, such as toxicologists. While decisions based on science are useful, one of the crucial aspects of the scientific approach is that results are often uncertain.

As scientists, we may not like the way that uncertainty is portrayed in the media or exploited by vested interests, but the Food Standards Agency has to interpret the scientific evidence — uncertainties and all — to propose sound policy options, despite uncertainties. The Agency also does as much as possible to reduce uncertainty by funding research. The Agency’s two main concerns are diet and health and food safety.

While the boundaries between the two are often blurred, they can also be distinguished. On the one hand, general aspects of diet — what people eat, how much, how often have a profound influence on general aspects of health such as longevity, particular symptoms, and what is coming to be called wellness. On the other hand, specific foods, ingredients and the chemicals they contain can have a very direct impact on health. Those are the broad questions the Food Standards Agency is interested in. How does it operate?

The Agency is not an agency at all, in the old government sense of the word, but a new UK wide Government department with offices in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Unlike most other departments, however, it is non-ministerial; there is no Minister for Food Safety, but the Food Standards Agency is accountable to the Westminster Parliament and the devolved authorities through their Health Ministers and Secretaries.

The Agency’s powers are vested in its Board, which consists of 14 independent members, and are exercised by the staff of the Agency, one-third of whom are scientists by training. The Board is completely independent. Its members were chosen to reflect the national responsibilities of the Food Standards Agency and the expertise needed to do the job properly — public health, consumer champions, food production and processing, catering, communications, and so on.

Most importantly, all the members of the Board were appointed after an open competition, held under the rules and principles established by the Commission of Standards in Public Life. There is a publicly available code of conduct for Board Members, and a public register of members’ interests, so the Agency can set itself high standards , which is important if it is to gain the trust of the many different stakeholders with an interest in food. These standards, and the appointment and register of interests of the Board, reflect another novel aspect of the Food Standards Agency: it is committed to openness.

To this end, all Board meetings, including debates and discussions of key policy issues, take place in public. In addition to being open and providing information to the public, the Agency has also set out deliberately to listen to the public. Openness and public participation are very important. Traditionally, people in government have regarded consultation as an add-on, the final step in the decision-making process.

At the Food Standards Agency, we are determined to make consultation an integral part of the work, and to consult those affected by any decision as early in the process as possible. However, this will not be merely an exercise in giving those with power more of it. Relevant industries, consumer organizations and the like will have their say, but the Agency is also very keen to reach out to people who have traditionally not had a voice — the underprivileged and the deprived — and is working to develop better ways to discover their views than the traditional formal processes.

In addition to a new approach, the Food Standards Agency also has new powers. It will publish the advice given to ministers, so that people can judge whether the Agency is doing its job effectively. It has the authority to collect information and samples at every point in the food chain from the field to the table. This is in addition to the normal good practices required of the food industry, and will be used particularly when there is reason to believe that public health is threatened. Furthermore, the Agency will be monitoring the performance of local authorities as they carry out their duties to enforce food law.

The intention is to build close partnerships with all interested parties, working together to improve food standards and deliver benefits to consumers. The Food Standards Agency also funds its own research programmer to the tune of about £25million a year. This is not new money; it comes from the previous existing programmers at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Department of Health. The novelty is that the Board will have the chance to set strategic research priorities, enabling the Agency to reduce scientific uncertainty where it is most important to do

Perhaps central to the work of the Food Standards Agency is risk — not only measuring risk and quantifying it scientifically, but also understanding how people perceive risks and what they are willing to do about them. Food is a particular source of worry about risks, because it is more than merely nourishment. It is also deeply embedded in culture and society. It is supposed to keep us healthy. We feed it to our children. We expect it to be safe. So it is not surprising that, whenever a food comes under suspicion — real or imagined it hits the headlines.

Life, or course, is full of risks. What is interesting is that some risks, such as those associated with food, seem to be so much more alarming than others, e.g. smoking. There has been a great deal of research into this, all of which points to a few well-established rules of thumb that relate directly to the values people hold. One of the most important of these values is how much control people think they have over the risk. Most people say that the risks of smoking and motoring, which they choose to do themselves, are more acceptable than risks such as nuclear power that are imposed on them by government or industry.

The question of control may be why passive smoking and speed limits around schools have become such powerful issues. Genetically modified (GM) foods are a case in point. The public seems to feel the risk is high, although there is very little evidence for them to base that fear on. Public concerns about GM foods relate to perceptions of risk, not to its real magnitude. People consistently underestimate considerably the true risk of common causes of death, e.g. cancer and heart disease. But they greatly overestimate the risk of dying in a high-profile disaster such as a flood or tornado. If people are not very good as estimating risk, can anything be done to help them?

Several researchers have tried to come up with comparative scales of relative risk. In an ideal world, scales such as these might be some use but, in reality, because people rate risk according to how the activity involved relates to their own values, scales like this probably do not help them. Although the public underestimates the risk of common causes of death, statistics reveal the ‘real’ killers, and the part that diet plays in various causes of death. Top of the list is cardiovascular disease, with more than one in three of all deaths in England and Wales, a total of 218 000 in 1999.

Second is cancer, which killed 136 000 people in the UK in 1999. One in three people develop cancer at some point in their lives, and one in four die from it. Diet is an important contributory factor in both broad categories. Some epidemiologists estimate that at least one-third of premature deaths in Europe are attributable to unhealthy diet. So 73 000 of the deaths from cardiovascular disease are ‘caused’ by diet. And although one third of all cancer deaths are linked to smoking, diet is also important, with a role in about one quarter of all cancer deaths. Against this background of actual risk, what are people actually worrying about? Bovine spongiform encephalopathy(BSE), food poisoning, and GMOs.

The latest figures published by the Department of Health show 82 definite and probable cases of variant CJD, about 15 per year. Food poisoning kills perhaps 50 people a year. This is not to say that the low risk worries expressed by the public and the news media are unimportant. But it is as important to get things in perspective.

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