Press releases

  1. 13 Jul 2009

    Following the discovery of contaminated sunflower oil imported from Ukraine (April 2008), the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has tested 55 analytical laboratories from 17 EU Member States plus Switzerland and Ukraine to determine their capability to measure levels of the contaminant, mineral oil, in sunflower oil. The test results are now available and show that around 80% of laboratories performed satisfactorily.

  2. 14 Jul 2012

    Necessity breeds invention, and the prospect of a complete ban on the use of animal testing in the EU cosmetics sector is a powerful driver for ambitious research and innovation across industry and academia. Methods to trigger cells into reinventing themselves, a prototype bioreactor to engineer living tissue and a computer model to predict the fate of a chemical in your body - these are just some of the recent achievements of SEURAT-1, a major European private-public research consortium that's working towards animal free testing and the highest level of consumer protection. With the European Commission's Joint Research Centre as a key partner, this biggest ever initiative in animal free toxicology is committed to doing things differently. A research strategy formulated around harnessing knowledge rather than simply generating data and an organisational model that marries crowd-sourcing with individual excellence, the proof of the pudding will be in demonstrating the concepts on which SEURAT-1 is built. Results in this field will also be useful in a wide range of other industrial and medical sectors and will have a positive impact on the competitiveness and innovation of EU companies.

  3. 24 Nov 2010

    A new study which benchmarks the abilities of laboratories around the world to measure heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, methylmercury and inorganic arsenic) in seafood has been published today by the Joint Research Centre. The outcome of the exercise was generally positive, with 80 to 96% o laboratories obtaining satisfactory scores, depending on the heavy metal considered. This result corroborates seafood consumers' protection in the EU, where the levels of lead, cadmium and total mercury are regulated by law.

  4. 29 Jul 2011

    The European Commission's Joint Research Centre has developed three new methods to detect an illegal clouding agent which can be found in sports drinks imported from Taiwan.

  5. 6 Dec 2011

    Scientists at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) have identified a shortlist of denaturants that could be used to harmonise denaturing practices at EU level and reduce fraud and tax evasion of alcoholic beverages. The proposed denaturants could potentially replace over 100 different substances currently used in Member States to denature alcohol.

  6. 7 Dec 2006

    European consumers want to know that the food they buy is safe and, where packaged, that the materials in that packaging keep it fresh and do not compromise the quality of the food inside. Today the European Commission inaugurates the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) for Food Contact Materials. EU legislation ensures that all materials that come into contact with food comply with standards so that safe food remains safe. The CRL will establish an equivalent level of laboratory practice across the EU. It will serve as a point of reference for issues relating to the enforcement of legislation on food contact materials, through a network of National Reference Laboratories and will develop methods, reference substances, training and so on to ensure the best possible implementation of EU legislation in this field. Food contact materials are essential in processing, transporting and storing food. Food packaging is a particularly important material, as it must prevent deterioration of, and at the same time avoid interacting with the food concerned. The CRL will be based at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy.

  7. 10 Nov 2010

    A new Reference Report published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) lists 79 reference methods for GMO analysis which have been validated according to international standards. This Compendium, developed jointly by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Genetically Modified Food and Feed (EU-RL GMFF) and the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL), presents the technical state of the art in GMO detection methods. Each method is described in a user-friendly way, facilitating the implementation of GMO legislation by official control bodies.

  8. 14 Feb 2011

    The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has just launched the first European repository of nanomaterials with a representative range of 25 different types of reference nanomaterials. This will support safety assessment to ensure consumer protection and confidence in many innovative applications and products. Nanotechnology is one of today's most promising technological developments. By enabling a harmonised risk assessment the repository can contribute to the success of nanotechnology and its products. Standardised methodologies and materials are necessary to obtain worldwide comparable test results and to provide reliable data for policy and regulatory decision making.

  9. 15 Jun 2007

    The European Commission has today released IUCLID 5 as part of its preparation for REACH and the new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). It is a key software application essential for chemical industry to comply with the new legislation, which entered into force on 1 June 2007. The freely downloadable tool will assist chemical companies globally in fulfilling their obligation to submit data to the Agency under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation from 1 June 2008.

  10. 15 Mar 2007

    The safety and quality of food and feed are a growing public concern and research plays an increasingly important role in this sector to ensure consumers' confidence. The European Commission is setting up three laboratories to support national authorities in their efforts to keep food and feed free from dangerous substances. The three Community Reference Laboratories for heavy metals, mycotoxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) will be opened by European Commissioner for Health, Markos Kyprianou at the Commission's Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements in Geel, Belgium on 16 March. Heavy metals, mycotoxins and PAHs are all substances with potentially harmful health effects that can be found in food. These laboratories will validate testing methods, develop reference materials and measurements and provide training and other tools to national laboratories so that food and animal feed can be kept safe across the EU.