The government's£25m food research programme will concentrate on six areas next year, including food allergies and the safety of genetically modified foods. Announcing the government's proposals last week, food safety minister Jeff Rooker said the research would form the scientific basis for food safety policy. Detailed research proposals were published last week by the Joint Food Safety and Standards Group, the forerunner to the proposed Food Standards Agency. The group comprises officials from the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Around£9m will be available for research in 2000-01 under the programme.