Food Safety - Forming a European platform for protecting consumers against health risks (SAFEFOODERA)
Consumers, in particular, appreciate a government which can pre-empt a serious food scare by catching it early and taking preventative measures. Research to develop such measures and make them broadly applicable is likely to be a priority. It is vital that when potential problems are found in one country – re-emerging diseases such as bird flu, for example, or high-risk substances like veterinary medicines detected in batches of food – the entire European Union is rapidly informed. SAFEFOODERA is identifying a system to describe new and potential chemical and microbial risks as they emerge around Europe. The network will help disseminate results from national research programmes, through dialogue with consumer groups, industry and other stakeholders across Europe. It also hopes to establish common procedures for evaluating research projects, to improve the transferability of scientific evidence, and pave the way for transnational research programmes. In all, this collaboration between high-profile food safety authorities should reassure everyone in the food chain, from farmer to consumer, that every effort is being made to keep European food as safe as possible.