A fork in the road for food research
rigorous high-tech quality control standards, the past decade
has seen an alarming rise in food alerts. The European Commission
has committed itself to redoubling research efforts under
the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to ensure a high level
of food safety and quality to protect the health of citizens.
‘Mad Cow’ disease (BSE), dioxin
and salmonella are among the scares that have shaken consumer
confidence across the EU in the food they buy and consume
and present modern society with a paradox.
Progress in science and technology has meant that the food
we consume is put under unprecedented scrutiny to ensure that
it is healthy and safe. Yet all this advancement could not
prevent these contaminations from getting into our food.
The problem stems from the growing consolidation of the production
and distribution chain, which means that if a contaminant
creeps into one part of the chain it can potentially spread
at an alarming rate before it is arrested.
From fork to farm
The EU hopes to protect public well-being and restore trust
in the food industry by promoting research in this important
Commission intends to promote and back research efforts that
focus on the interests of citizens and consumers along the
entire food production and distribution chain.
Another important string in the Commission’s bow is
to encourage informed public debate of the issues surrounding
this important field by stimulating better communication between
the scientific community and society at large.
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