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Tuesday, May 19, 1998 Published at 19:53 GMT 20:53 UK

Health: Background briefings

Food safety links

Many of the policy issues raised in this section are the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods and the Department of Health. The former has information and advice on food additives and colourings.

You can read the White Paper on the Food Standards Agency at the government's stationary office. One day it may have some of the clout of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Food poisoning cases are investigated in the UK by local environmental health departments. Consumer rights are the responsibility of Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading.

There is a site called the Food Safety Home Page that is produced by an American microbiologist, Donald L. Zink. It carries basic scientific information on food-borne illnesses. If you want to read more about what causes food poisoning, there is a site called the Bad Bug Book .

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has a site aimed at children called Kids World that has basic information about food safety and nutrition. It also has a condensed version of the Bad Bug Book, which is aimed at children as well.

Bugs in the News! does a similar sort of job.

E-coli has probably been poked and prodded by more scientists than any other microbe. The E.coli Reference Center has a whole site dedicated to the different strains.

The World Health Organisation pronounces all sorts of issues, including the use of antibiotics in animal feed.

The National Farmers Union in the UK is intimately involved in issues of food safety and sets out its position on a Q&A page. It also has a large document on organic farming.

If you are concerned about the impact genetic engineering will have on food, there is a British information site called Food for Our Future. It has an explanation of the pros and the cons of genetically-modified food.

And the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has a page on what it calls "Hi-tech food".

One of the main research centres in the UK for plant biotechnology is the John Innes Centre at Norwich

The Roslin Institute, is the home of Dolly the sheep.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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In this section

Disability in depth

Spotlight: Bristol inquiry

Antibiotics: A fading wonder

Mental health: An overview

Alternative medicine: A growth industry

The meningitis files

Long-term care: A special report

Aids up close

From cradle to grave

NHS reforms: A guide

NHS Performance 1999

From Special Report
NHS in crisis: Special report

British Medical Association conference '99

Royal College of Nursing conference '99

Background Briefings Contents

Your NHS
Food Safety
The Bristol heart babies
The Human Body
NHS pay 99
Performance 99