The paradox of progress
Due to progress in science
and technology - and the increasingly stringent
legislation that has resulted – today's
agri-foodstuffs sector must respect ever stricter
standards and increasingly rigorous quality
control and monitoring procedures. Yet paradoxically,
over the past decade there has also been an
increasing number of food alerts – BSE,
dioxin, listeria, salmonella – creating
a genuine crisis of confidence among consumers.
Research on food safety and quality must therefore
be a priority.
From the farm to the fork
Since the devastation caused
by the bovine spongiform encephalitis crisis,
the Union has, so to speak, 'taken the bull
by the horns' in carrying out a thorough review
and draconian restructuring of its political
responsibilities in the area of food safety.
Research on this subject under the Sixth Framework
Programme will be in line with this goal.
- To establish the integrated
scientific and technological bases needed
to develop an environmentally friendly production
and distribution chain of safer, healthier
and more varied food including crops, meat
and sea food.
- To improve understanding
of the link between food and health.
- To control food-related
risks, relying in particular on biotechnology
tools and the results of post-genomic research.
- To control health
risks associated with environ-mental changes.
Support for Research
Community action will cover
research in the following fields:
- Production methods and processes
(including knowledge of biotechnolgies) for
foodstuffs and animal feed which are safer,
healthier, more nutritional, functional and
varied, and environmentally friendly, based
on systems such as integrated production,
lower input farming and organic farming.
- The epidemiology of food-related
diseases and allergies, including methods
of analysis of food-related allergies, in
particular the impact of diet on children's
- The impact on health of
new and/or functional foods, products resulting
from organic farming, foods containing genetically
modified organisms, and those arising from
recent biotechnology developments.
- 'Traceability' processes
throughout the production chain, relating
in particular to GMOs and similar products.
- Methods of analysis, detection
and control of chemical contaminants and existing
or emerging pathogenic micro-organisms (such
as viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, parasites,
and new agents of the prion type, including
the development of ante-mortem diagnostic
tests for BSE and scrapie).
- The impact on human health
of animal feed, in particular products containing
GMOs, and the use of sub-products of various
- Environmental health
risks (chemical, biological and physical)
linked to the food chain (including the cumulative
risks of authorised substances, transmission
routes to human beings, long-term effects
and exposure to small doses, impact on particularly
vulnerable groups, especially children), the
impact of local ecological disasters and of
pollution on food safety.
To find out more European White
Paper on Food Safety http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/
Dossier on food safety at the
Europa Research website http://ec.europa.eu/research/
Site of the European Food Safety
Site of the pan-European conference
on food safety and quality (organised by the
FAO and WHO and held in Budapest in February
Site of the European ENTRANSFOOD
network on GMOs http://www.entransfood.nl/
€ 685 million
Current & Previous activities