Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Europe takes joint action on food-borne environmental pollutants in new expert network

22.03.2004


The harmful effects of chemical contaminants in food are of major health concern in Europe today. However, a lack of integration of interdisciplinary activities, such as basic research and risk assessment, severely hampers the efforts to reach European excellence in this area. The individual research projects are also small in scale and not well integrated into a coherent structure. To tackle the fragmentation problems and to achieve synergistic effects and full European research potential, the European Commission will this week sign a contract worth over €14 million with 18 different European research centers, which will form a durable European Network of Excellence in food safety.



The so-called CASCADE Network of Excellence, coordinated from Swedish Karolinska Institutet, had its first meeting in Malaga, Spain, February 12th – 14th. Around 70 scientists, EU officials, and other invited project leaders met and discussed an appropriate course of action for the future. It was agreed that CASCADE has the potential and goal to be a world force in knowledge on the health issues related to chemical contaminants in food.

The focus will lie on the action of complex mixtures of chemical contaminants on hormonal systems. Hormone disrupting agents, acting through nuclear receptors, are known to be involved in many different pathological processes, such as tumour development and growth, metabolic disease and obesity, and coronary heart disease; in short the major diseases that affect Europeans today. In this initial 5-year contract, the molecular biologists, chemists, epidemiologists, ecotoxicologists, physiologists and endocrinologists of CASCADE will focus on the mechanisms of action of the chemical residues and their levels in the food chain, development of common sampling techniques, and identification of biological markers to assess any health risks the contaminants might constitute for humans. Specific focus groups will be women, newborn children and other susceptible populations. A new approach will be to develop strategies to take any beneficial effects of certain natural food constituents into consideration in the overall risk analysis.


“We are extremely excited over this opportunity to participate in the establishment of a new and highly competitive infrastructure for European research in the area of food toxicology” says coordinator Professor Jan-Åke Gustafsson at the Department of Biosciences at the South Campus of Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge. Vice-coordinator Ingemar Pongratz adds “This is not another research project. We are gluing 16 institutes and 2 companies into one unity. No single country has enough competence by itself to solve the problem.” Results will include training programmes and provision of rationalised information to society for a balanced risk assessment of food contaminants. Various national and international organisations have already been associated to the network to reinforce the contacts between CASCADE and the outside world. In annual open fora, CASCADE will communicate scientific achievements of the network to the public, to authorities, and to organisations associated to the network as observers.

Funding

CASCADE is funded through the European Commission, Sixth Framework Programme, Thematic Area 5: Food Quality and Safety. CASCADE is being provided €14.4 million over 5 years for its scientific, integration, teaching, information, and risk assessment activities.

Jan-Åke Gustafsson | alfa
Further information:
http://info.ki.se/index_se.html

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>