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Welcome to the Directorate General for 'Health and Consumers'

Our job is to help make Europe's citizens healthier, safer and more confident.

Over the years the European Union has established EU laws on the safety of food and other products, on consumers' rights and on the protection of people's health.

The Directorate General for 'Health and Consumers' has the task of keeping these laws up to date.
It is national, regional or even local governments in EU countries who actually apply the EU's health and consumer protection laws. It is their job to make sure traders, manufacturers and food producers in their country observe the rules. Nonetheless, part of our job is to check that this is really happening and that the rules are being applied properly in all EU countries.

Read more about DG SANCO's mission


Commission favours temporary suspension of animal cloning for food production in the EU

Based on a report, published on Oct. 19, the European Commission will propose a temporary suspension of animal cloning for food production in the EU. The report notes that -along with the temporary suspension of the technique- the Commission also plans to suspend temporarily the use of cloned farm animals and the marketing of food from clones. All temporary measures will be reviewed after five years. Finally, the report foresees the establishment of a traceability system to follow imports of semen and embryos of clones.

Download the report (/dgs/health_consumer/docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_en.pdf) BG (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_bg.pdf) CS (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_cs.pdf) DA (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_da.pdf) DE (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_de.pdf) ET (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_et.pdf) EL (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_el.pdf) ES (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_es.pdf) FR (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_fr.pdf) IT (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_it.pdf) LV (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_lv.pdf) LT (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_lt.pdf) HU (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_hu.pdf) MT (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_mt.pdf) NL (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_nl.pdf) PL (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_pl.pdf) PT (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_pt.pdf) RO (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_ro.pdf) SK (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_sk.pdf) SL (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_sl.pdf) FI (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_fi.pdf) SV (docs/20101019_report_ec_cloning_sv.pdf) pdf
Read the Press Release (
Read more (

Investments, real estate and internet access among lowest ranking consumer markets

Investments, pensions and securities, real estate services and internet service provision are the three markets most likely to be failing consumers across the EU, according to the autumn 2010 Consumer Markets Scoreboard published on 22 October. Among goods markets, second-hand cars, clothing and footwear and meat have scored lowest. At the other end of the spectrum, airlines show good results in spite of the disruptions of spring 2010 and consumers also appreciate cultural goods and services. The Scoreboard ranks 50 consumer markets – from food to domestic appliances to car repair – in all EU countries by looking at indicators such as comparability, consumer trust, consumer satisfaction, problems, complaints, the ease of switching providers and prices. The purpose is to identify markets that appear most at risk of malfunctioning for follow-up studies, which analyse problems in-depth and identify policy responses.

Press release ( BG ( CS ( DA ( DE ( ET ( EL ( EN ( ES ( IT ( LV ( LT ( HU ( MT ( NL ( PL ( PT ( RO ( SK ( SL ( FI (
Fact sheet (
Watch press briefing (
Find out more (/consumers/strategy/facts_en.htm#4CMS)
Read more (/consumers/strategy/facts_en.htm#4CMS)

Citizens' Energy Forum working for better energy markets for consumers

On 21 October, EU Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli told the third Citizens' Energy Forum in London of the need for clear and trustworthy information as the key to improving the energy market for consumers. The Forum is organised by the European Commission and brings together consumer associations, industry, national regulators, and national government representatives to work on key issues such as billing, smart metering, supplier switching, protecting vulnerable consumers and complaint handling.

Find out more (/consumers/citizen/my_rights/energy_en.htm)
Commissioner Dalli's video message to the Forum (/consumers/citizen/my_rights/energy_en.htm#video)
Read more (/consumers/citizen/my_rights/energy_en.htm)

Help us promote European Consumer Centres and win a summit trip

If you have ever used the services of a European Consumer Centre (ECC), take a few minutes to fill in a short survey and get a chance to win a trip to the European Consumer Summit in March 2011. The survey is part of our research which will help the European Commission to get better at informing EU consumers about the services which European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net) can provide for them. ECC-Net is an EU-wide network (also present in Iceland and Norway), supported by the European Commission, providing free advice and assistance to consumers shopping for services or goods in another EU country (as well as in Norway and Iceland).

Fill in the survey ( (available in 22 languages)
Find out more on ECC-Net (/consumers/ecc/index_en.htm)
Read more (/consumers/ecc/index_en.htm)

European Consumer Centres - 5 years at the service of European consumers

Have you ever ordered online, paid for the goods and never received them? Then the European Consumer Centre can be of help to you. Between 2005 and 2009, the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) handled almost 270.000 contacts with EU consumers who turned to them for advice or help on cross-border shopping, according to the ECC-Net 5th anniversary report published by the European Commission today. The number of annual contacts has been rising steadily, from about 43.000 in 2005 to over 60.000 in 2009. The annual value of amicable settlements of complaints with traders (in reimbursements and compensation for consumers) reached € 3.5 million in 2008. The European Commission and Member States co-finance the ECC-Net which offers consumers free legal advice and assistance in every EU country as well as Norway and Iceland. Online purchases continue to be the main source of complaints for cross-border consumers: in 2009 they represented more than half (55.9%) of all complaints received.

Press release ( (PDF version (
Find out more on ECC-Net (/consumers/ecc/index_en.htm)
Read more (/consumers/ecc/index_en.htm)

RAYPRO – Resource on Alcohol and Youth Projects

RAYPRO enables to share information on initiatives to reduce alcohol-related harm among children and young people. Anyone can browse and search in RAYPRO but if you wish to enter a good practice project, you need to register as user. Information on projects is structured into intervention, evaluation and results. You can add links and upload documents for sharing. Besides English you can enter – and search – the name and summary of the project in another language. You can also access other project databases through RAYPRO or browse a pilot study that draws on peer reviewed literature published 2000-2010.

Click here to access RAYPRO (
Read more (

Commission launches a public consultation on the possible revision of the Tobacco Products Directive 2001/37/EC

Deadline for submissions of comments: 19 November 2010
Read more (

With 84% of electronic websites now clean, enforcers next target sports and events ticketing websites

84% of websites selling electronic goods checked for breach of EU consumer rules now comply with EU laws (compared with only 44% in 2009). Commissioner John Dalli also announced the initial findings of the 2010 Sweep targeting online sales of tickets for cultural and sporting events.

Speech (/consumers/docs/speech_sweeps_16092010_en.pdf) pdf
Press release: Consumers: Most internet sites now safe to buy electronic goods (
FAQ: 2010 Sweep on tickets for cultural and sporting events (first phase) (
FAQ: 2009 Sweep on electronic goods (second phase) (
Tips for consumers (/consumers/citizen/my_shopping/home_en.htm)
Read more (/consumers/enforcement/sweeps_en.htm)

Commission looks at the issue of the reprocessing of single-use medical devices

On 27 August 2010, the Commission adopted a report on the reprocessing of medical devices in the European Union. It looks in particular at the practice of reprocessing of medical devices which are intended for single use, such as needles, syringes or catheters. The practice is not currently regulated at EU level. Earlier, the Commission had asked for an independent scientific opinion on the issue. On this basis the report concludes that the reprocessing practice may not be without risks. The Commission will assess how the current EU law on medical devices can be reviewed to ensure a high level of protection for the patients.
Read the full report (
Read more (

Alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics: public consultation launched

On 23 July 2010, the Commission launched a public consultation on a draft report concerning alternative methods in cosmetic testing. Comments are sought on alternatives available in testing for certain health-related effects covered by the 2013 deadline for the marketing ban on animal-tested cosmetics. The public consultation ends on 15 October 2010. This is a part of the process to phase out animal testing of cosmetic ingredients. The testing ban on finished cosmetic products applies since 2004 and on ingredients since 2009. The marketing ban applies since March 2009 with the exception of testing for three kinds of human health-related effects, for which the deadline is March 2013. By the end of 2010, the Commission will report on the availability of and prospects for the alternatives to testing for these three types of effects.
View consultation documents (
Read more (

Help us evaluate our e-shopping clip

Have you seen the clip on online shopping made by DG Health and Consumers? Would you like to help us check how good it is? We value your opinion. If you wish to take part, please click though to our survey (available in English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish). The survey takes less than ten minutes to fill in and will help us improve the way in which we communicate our consumer policy.

Haven’t seen the clip yet? Have a look (

Fill in the survey: EN ( FR ( DE ( NL ( SV ( DA (
Read more (/consumers/citizen/my_shopping/eshopping_en.htm)

10 years for healthier, safer and more confident consumers

Directorate General for Health and Consumers turns 10 years old this autumn. To mark this occasion, a special video has been prepared. While it presents main achievements of the European Union in the areas of public health, food safety and consumer affairs, it also offers both historical perspective and insight in the future from Commissioners Kuneva and Vassiliou, as well as other important actors.

Watch full video (/dgs/health_consumer/sanco_10years/index_en.htm)
Read more (/dgs/health_consumer/sanco_10years/index_en.htm)