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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Appointment of medical officers of health (food safety) is essential for achieving food safety objectives in the UK. Response to food borne illness section (4.44-4.49) of the White Paper, the Food Standard Agency--a force for change, MAFF January 1998.

National surveys reveal that the public has lost confidence in the safety of food. There is lack of co-ordination and failure to overcome institutional barriers at many levels throughout the food chain. The abolition of the post of medical officer of health and the public health departments of local government over which it presided, in view of many, including members of parliament, has been the most damaging of all changes to the public health and many have asked for the restoration of this post. Health departments have no overall statutory responsibility for food safety. The medical expertise of medical officers of health provided the executive authority with the necessary support in managing and controlling outbreaks of food poisoning, a point emphasised in the recommendations made by an inquiry set up by the government following the worst ever outbreak of food poisoning in Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK. Only such an appointment at local level will restore public confidence in food safety.[1]


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