Driving research in the area of chemical contaminants, nutrition and microbiology the UK's food agency is calling for scientists to fulfill a batch of new research requirements.
The London-based body announced it is looking to commission research or survey projects in a number of food related areas, including: data quality and improved methods of analysis; food authenticity; and radiological safety.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) uses findings from commissioned work both to develop its policies and to assess their effectiveness or to develop research where policy changes require new knowledge.
"The agency needs to base its decisions and advice on the best available science and of the sources of this science is its research portfolio," claimed the FSA in a recent statement.
The government-funded body takes on research and survey work through open competition.
Pushing research into food-related areas figures in the greater plan to make the European Union the most competitive economy in the world by 2010, a strategic goal - branded the 'Lisbon strategy' - agreed by EU government leaders at the Lisbon summit in March 2000.
The European Parliament approved of the goal agreed by Member States, devoting 3 per cent of GDP to research and development but observers say that little has been achieved in practice: research accounts for only 1.9 per cent of GDP in the EU, compared to 2.9 per cent in US and 3 per cent in Japan. GDP for the EU25 comes in at around $11.10 trillion (€8.18 trillion), according to World Bank estimates.