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Food Quality and Safety in Europe



Interviews carried out in the 25 EU Member States in autumn 2005 revealed that in the event of a serious food risk, Europeans would most trust the information provided by consumer groups (32%), their doctor (32%) and scientists (30%). Though the survey shows that the actions of public authorities are generally well received by citizens, they rank behind the top three most trusted sources with a result of 22%.

The Science 4 BioReg consortium has therefore undertaken a twofold mission to avert future possible misunderstandings between citizens and their political leaders concerning the biosafety and agricultural biotechnology sectors. One activity will be to provide better information to policymakers, regulators and the public about the objectives and progress in public research of life sciences in agricultural biotechnology. The other activity will be to inform and involve public researchers in relevant discussions on international agreements and regulations on biotechnology and biosafety.


Bilateral exchange within these life science sectors is key to reducing the growing gap between the public and its perceptions of science and risk on the one hand, and the public sector with its regulatory policies on the other. This is important at a time when developments in the public research sector in modern biotechnology are closely dependent on the design and implementation of the regulatory framework for genetically modified crops at national, regional and global levels.

Developing countries in particular are counting on modern biotechnology to solve current problems in food and feed production, healthcare and environmental protection. Drawing up more sound and science-based EU biotechnology policies with safe and workable regulatory frameworks - that are at the same time predictable, transparent and balanced - will contribute to establishing a stronger public research base. This, in turn, will make Europe more attractive to private investment in research and innovation.


Science 4 BioReg supports the development of the European Research Area by offering a forum for the public research sector. The Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI) is a worldwide initiative by and for public researchers. The initiative's steering committee consists of highly qualified and experienced scientists and experts from all over the world. All of them are working on a voluntary basis to provide sustainable involvement of public researchers. Science 4 BioReg will guarantee that larger target groups are informed about recent developments. It will also ensure that the public research sector has at least a minimal presence in all relevant biosafety and agricultural biotechnology meetings.

As well as these activities carried out in the framework of a Specific Support Action, PRRI is also seeking additional funds to bring larger numbers of public researchers to international negotiations and other relevant meetings. The project is also reaching out to non-English speaking public researchers and coordinating its activities with the Biosafety Research Communication Network (Biosafenet).

Thanks to the activities of the Science 4 BioReg project, international and regional agreements such as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, related European Union directives and regulations, as well as the ┼rhus Convention, are no longer mysteries to public researchers.

List of Partners

  • Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)
  • Foundation for Public Research and Regulation (The Netherlands)
  • Horizons (Belgium)
  • Ghent University (Belgium)
  • Cambridge Biomedical Consultants (UK)
  • Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (Ghana)
  • Black Sea Biotechnology Association (Bulgaria)
  • Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering (Ukraine)
  • Institute of Plant Breeding, University of the Philippines Los Ba˝os (Philippines)
  • Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (Uganda)
  • Kummer EcoConsult (Switzerland)
  • National Hellenic Research Foundation (Greece)
  • Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (Brazil)
  • Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry (Germany)
  • Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile (Chile)
Full title:
Global involvement of public research scientists in regulations of biosafety and agricultural biotechnology
Contract n░:
Project co-ordinator:
Kim Meulenbroeks,
Delft University of Technology
EC Scientific Officer:
Ioannis Economidis,
EU contribution:
€ 601,500
Specific Support Action

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top