Statistics and...more statistics

13 August, 2010
Page 39 

Now that the Food Standards Agency's virility has been snipped and its knackers stitched on to two new hosts the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Department for Health it's pleasing to see environment secretary Caroline Spelman already getting a firm grip of her new funbag.

That old adage "if you don't know, don't be afraid to ask" has never been truer than in ministers' 19-page briefing to Defra, which stated the sort of information that civil servants should be feeding her. "The odd figure is helpful. Include examples of the average price of a loaf of bread," it read. Not one for popping to her local Spar for a top-up loaf, then.

This apparently simple request also opens a whole can of worms regarding definition: do you count bread on promo? White, brown or seeded? 800g, 400g, 525g? In-store, branded, own-label or craft bakery? Geography of purchase? We would recommend the establishment of a standing committee on the matter forthwith.





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