New Food, Environment Research Agency

The Environment Department (DEFRA) announced the formation of a new research agency in January. The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) will be formed on 1 April from the merger of the department’s Central Science Laboratory (CSL), Plant Health Division, Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate and the Plant Variety Rights Office and Seeds Division.

DEFRA says the agency will strengthen its work in crop protection, food chain safety, environmental risk assessment and crisis response. It aims to integrate policy development, scientific evidence and inspections. It will be based at the CSL’s site at Sand Hutton, near York

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