nutrition and health
The EU is the world's leading producer of food and drink.
In recent years, food quality and safety have become increasingly
EU's food and drink sector is worth 650
billion and employs no less than 3 million people. While the industry
is world class, recent food scares have put it under increasing
pressure from consumers to guarantee food safety and quality at
all stages of the food production process.
Despite this, the ratio of research expenditure to production remains
low in comparison with other sectors. This key action therefore
aims to strengthen research in the agriculture, fisheries and food
industries to ensure that Europe maintains its strong position into
the 21st century. Studying how foods can affect health in the long
term is also an important goal. There is substantial evidence that
a balanced diet can contribute to the prevention of many chronic
diseases, but we need to investigate which foods offer the greatest
protection. Functional foods - foods designed to confer definite
and specific health benefits - are already in the early stages of
development and will continue to be a major focus for research.