Thu 08 August, 2013

A restatement of the natural science evidence base relevant to the control of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain

This paper, aiming to provide a succinct summary of the natural science evidence base underlying bovine tuberculosis policy in the UK, has been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The evidence summary can be found as the Appendix to a paper published (August 7th 2013) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences with an annotated bibliography as supplementary material online. The open access article can be accessed here and a version as a single pdf can be downloaded here.

Wed 31 July, 2013

The Green Food Project (GFP) reported in July 2012 and one of the recommendations suggested follow-on work to investigate the roles that diet and consumption play in the sustainability of the whole food system. It was agreed that this work should continue with the same approach taken in the Green Food Project, to work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders.

Read the Sustainable Consumption Report here

Thu 04 July, 2013

The balancing act of producing more food sustainably

A policy known as sustainable intensification could help meet the challenges of increasing demands for food from a growing global population, argues a team of scientists in an article in the journal Science.

To read the article in Science without a journal subscription, please click through the links on the FCRN website.

The goal of sustainable intensification is to increase food production from existing farmland says the article in the journal’s Policy Forum by lead authors Dr Tara Garnett and Professor Charles Godfray from the University of Oxford. They say this would minimise the pressure on the environment in a world in which land, water, and energy are in short supply, highlighting that the environment is often overexploited and used unsustainably.

The authors, university researchers and policy-makers from NGOs and the UN, outline a new, more sophisticated account of how ‘sustainable intensification’ should work. They recognise that this policy has attracted criticism in some quarters as being either too narrowly focused on food production or as representing a contradiction in terms.

Thu 04 July, 2013

A Restatement of the Natural Science Evidence Base Relevant to the Control of Bovine Tuberculosis in Great Britain


This project aims to provide a succinct summary of the natural science evidence base underlying bovine tuberculosis policy in the UK.  It has been led by Charles Godfray and Angela McLean from the Oxford Martin School and also involves Christl Donnelly (Imperial College), Rowland Kao (Glasgow University), David Macdonald and Gillian Petrokofsky (Oxford University), James Wood (Cambridge University), Rosie Woodroffe (Institute of Zoology), Douglas Young (MRC National Institute of Medical Research) and Robbie McDonald (University of Exeter).

Wed 03 July, 2013

Following the release last year of the report on ‘Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture’ by the Food Climate Research Network and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, around 30 experts in this field, from academic, governmental, NGO and industrial organisations, were asked to give their comments on the report.

They were asked two key questions:

  1. Where has the report helped resolve issues, and where it is misguided or simply wrong?
  2. How should we move forward, and what is required for sustainable intensification to become a concept useful for those charged with implementing policy?

These comments have all been compiled into a report which can be downloaded here:

Comments on Report

However, before reading them, we suggest you first read the original report.

Science will be publishing an article by the authors on sustainable intensification on July 5th 2013. If you are interested in reading it, please check back here then, or sign up to our newsletters (FCRN and Future of Food).

You can find out more about our work on Sustainable Intensification on our Sustainable Intensification webpage.

Mon 01 July, 2013

Death rates from heart disease have more than halved in many European Union countries since the early 1980s, Oxford University researchers have found.

New research published in the European Heart Journal by members of the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at the University of Oxford.

Read the Oxford University Media coverage of this story.

Wed 26 June, 2013

Our perception of how food tastes is influenced by cutlery, research suggests. Size, weight, shape and colour all have an effect on flavour, says a University of Oxford team.

The study in the journal Flavour suggests the brain makes judgements on food even before it goes in the mouth.

Read more about this research on the BBC news website

Read the journal article in Flavour

Listen to Charles Spence talking about this research on Radio 4's Material World

Mon 17 June, 2013

New Report Identifies "Regret-Free" Approaches for Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change

Researchers provide clarity on action amid fears of wasted investments and imprecise science

A study called "Addressing uncertainty in adaptation planning for agriculture" has been published in PNAS by researchers from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), including Oxford researcher, Joost Vervoort.

You can read the paper in PNAS here and you can read more about the research on the CCAFS website here.

Mon 13 May, 2013

A report has just been released on the health impacts of a proposed 10% tax on sugary drinks in Ireland.

The working group who produced this report, commissioned by the Irish Minister for Health, had the expertise of Mike Rayner and his team from Oxford University who carried out modelling work on the financial tax implication for Ireland.

Conclusions based on evidence presented by the HIA process:

  • Obesity is multifaceted with many factors influencing the basic drivers of energy intake and energy expenditure including environment, socio-economic, psycho-social and genetic factors.
  • Sugar Sweetened Drinks (SSDs) are a source of energy intake with little or no other nutrient contribution to the diet.
  • Price increases tend to decrease demand by the degree to which this happens is variable because consumer behaviour and industry response to a tax is difficult to predict.
  • There is evidence linking Sugar Sweetened Drinks consumption with increases in energy intake.
  • The evidence linking Sugar Sweetened Drinks consumption with weight gain is suggestive but not conclusive.

The Working Group were broadly of the view that there was evidence to suggest that SSDs are associated with weight gain and that an SSD levy should not be seen as a revenue generating issue but rather a measure to change behaviour. They agreed that if this tax were implemented there would be a need for good monitoring and evaluation.

Read the entire report here

Mon 29 April, 2013

The Environmental Change Institute has launched a new policy briefing series: 'Insights for Policy'.

These four-page documents present the aspects of a particular piece of research relevant to policy makers in government, international organisations, business and charity sectors.

The first in the series is about food and environments in East Africa. It looks at how different futures might affect food security and environmental change in the region.

This research comes out of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS).

Download the policy briefing here:
ECI Insights for Policy #1: Shared Action on Food and Environments in East Africa

Visit the Policy Briefing page on the ECI website here:
ECI Insights for Policy

Read more about CCAFS work on Scenarios:

Scenarios website

Scenarios blogs


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