We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The JRC is developing and testing new animal-free methods, alternative to animal-based tests, to be applied in an integrated safety assessment of chemicals, as well as providing informatics tools and databases to support this.
Consumers are in daily contact with a variety of products such as cosmetics, kitchenware or textiles. The safety of these is of primary concern for producers and legislators.
The JRC actions in this area are in line with the "farm to table" concept which takes into account consumers' demands and their feedback right along the food chain.
The labeling of food products is essential to inform consumers what kind of products they are buying. EU harmonised rules on food labeling, presentation and advertising aim to protect consumers and facilitate trade inside and outside Europe.
Recently an initiative of the European Parliament (EP) has identified a number of foods such as: olive oil, fish, honey, dairy products and meat as being the target of fraudulent activities. This initiative calls for the development of technologies and methods to detect food fraud.
Food contact materials comprise all materials and articles that come or are intended to come in contact with food, e.g. food packaging materials, kitchen utensils, tableware and food processing equipment.
The 'Chocolate Directive' allows the addition of up to 5 % of vegetable fats other than cocoa butter, the so-called cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs), in chocolate. If CBEs are added, consumers have to be informed by appropriate labelling. EU member states' laws, regulations and administrative provisions have had to comply with the Chocolate Directive since August 2003.
JRC research on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) allows the EU to reliably and effectively detect GMOs in, for example, shipments of imported food, feed, seeds and end products.
Our work focusses on many aspects of quality including quality assurance and assessment, certification, benchmarking, management and clinical auditing, external assessment, quality and safety, quality improvement, performance measurement, quality monitoring, standardisation in healthcare, as well as the development and evaluation of evidence-based guidelines.
Assessing human exposure of individuals or populations to environmental factors is an important component and integral part of human health risk assessment.