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Science can simply be ambiguous

You may remember that at our Board meeting back in December, we decided that our advice on eating peanuts when pregnant, breast-feeding and weaning needed to change. This is because a major review by the Committee on Toxicity, an independent Advisory Committee, has shown that the science has moved on since 1998 when the evidence was last reviewed. We now know that there is no clear evidence that eating or not eating peanuts or food containing peanuts during these early life stages influences the chances of a child developing a peanut allergy.

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Unknown unknowns

You might have seen the media reporting yesterday that ham sandwiches shouldn't be included in children’s lunchboxes. While there is some evidence linking bowel cancer to red and processed meats, there is no evidence that the occasional ham sandwich will increase this risk – the key, as always, is a healthy balanced diet. By the way, I’m David Atkins, the Joint Head of Andrew’s Chief Scientist Team here at the FSA. I’m doing this guest blog while Andrew is on holiday.

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