Brussels, 18 Jun 2004
The European Commission used an international food conference on 17 June, organised by the Irish Presidency, to announce its readiness to award 192 million euro to new food-related research projects and networks.
The funding will go to 31 projects and networks and 13 smaller support actions. Among the subjects tackled by ten Integrated Projects will be chemical contaminant screening in food, obesity, traceability in food, nutrition in early life, food allergy and emerging pathogens.
Opening the Dublin conference, Ireland's Minister for Agriculture and Food, Joe Walsh, said that the food safety scares over the past decade have highlighted to everyone that developments must be underpinned by the application of the highest possible standards and the best possible scientific advice.
'Now, more than ever, research in agriculture and food safety is critical to ensure the quality of life and safety of all citizens in an enlarged Europe,' echoed EU Research Commissioner, Philippe Busquin.
The two Networks of Excellence selected for EU support will address food information, and cancer risk from nutrition and the environment. Smaller projects, known as specific targeted research projects (STREPs) will tackle such topics as animal diseases, biotoxins in seafood, flavonoids, reducing and recycling food production wastes and nutrition during adolescence. Four Coordination Actions and 13 Specific Support Actions will also receive funding.
A total of 185 proposals were submitted to the Commission, meaning that 141 will not receive funding. The success rate, of 23.7 per cent, was kept low by budgetary constraints, making it impossible to fund some 'very good' proposals, according to the Commission.
The next call for proposals is expected to be published on 7 July.
For further information on the Commission's food quality and safety research activities, please visit: