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 New parsley virus discovered by Braunschweig researchers
17.05.2019 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

nachricht Franco-German research initiative on low-pesticide agriculture in Europe
16.05.2019 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.

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: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Uncovering hidden protein structures

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Monitoring biodiversity with sound: how machines can enrich our knowledge

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>