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 March edition of the JRC's Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment is now available at:
The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown measures have been a shock to food systems worldwide, affecting both supply and demand.
This has led to unforeseen fluctuations in food prices, particularly at country and local levels, which have hit the poor and vulnerable hardest.
In order to help tackle the food-security issues resulting from such price fluctuations, policymakers need reliable real-time data of where their interventions are most needed.
While laboratory studies have shown that environmental conditions influence the spread of COVID-19, a significant impact of outdoor air pollution on the spreading or severity of the disease has not been demonstrated yet, following a recent JRC study.
Wastewater has emerged as a reliable indicator of the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the population, while being itself not a source of infection. The ability to detect RNA fragments of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater is increasingly and independently being reported from research groups in nearly all EU Member States and beyond. This is a first opportunity to reliably surveil the presence of the virus in the population in a better and more harmonized way without direct testing of individual persons.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the Directorate-General for Environment, are teaming up with the EU Hackathon’s winners SEWERS4Covid (the Dutch Water Research Institute KWR, Eurecat – Technology Centre of Catalonia (Spain), University of Thessaly and National Technical University of Athens (Greece), and University of Exeter (UK) and the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule in Aachen RWTH (DE).