EU Science Hub

Health and consumer protection

The JRC provides scientific and technical support to EU policies on food, consumer products, chemicals and public health. With the aim of protecting general interests and health of European citizens, our scientists assess selected consumer products, as well as selected health determinants such as safety and quality of food or chemical substances including nanomaterials. They also develop test methods with the aim to reduce, refine or replace the use of animals for safety testing and the efficacy/potency testing of chemicals, biologicals and vaccines.

The JRC develops scientific tools that allow research to be carried out efficiently, and compiles databases of information relevant to all aspects of consumer health and protection. A lot of the JRC's research related to health and consumer protection builds on work done, methods provided and data collected  by the relevant JRC-hosted European Union Reference Laboratories.

We are increasingly called for a more comprehensive scientific support to public health policies. With this purpose, we have been developing scientific competencies to tackle the rising number of public health issues that can be dealt with most efficiently at the European level. For example, we are developing a harmonised cancer information system for Europe and setting up of a European voluntary quality assurance scheme for breast cancer care. On the cross-roads of nutrition and behavioural economics, we are looking, among others, into issues of childhood obesity.  

We don't work alone in these areas. We regularly engage with other Commission's departments such as the Directorates-General (DG) for Health and Food Safety, DG Environment, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, with EU Member States, patients' organisations and health technology industries.

For more information on the European Commission's policies on public health, take a look at the section on public health on DG Health and Food Safety's wesbite.

For more information on the European Commission's policies on consumers, take a look at the Consumer's section of the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers.