REVIEW – December 2006

SAFEFOODNET – a Chemical Food Safety Network for the enlarging Europe


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The research project Chemical Food Safety Network for the enlarging Europe – SAFEFOODNET, started in 2005 under the 6th Framework Programme Food Quality and Safety. The SAFEFOODNET research project connects independent research institutions, universities, government agencies, and ministries from across the EU. The objective is to harmonise and integrate the infrastructures and activities of the New Member Countries and the Associated Candidate Countries in the field of chemical food safety with those of the Old Member States and to provide the recently established European  Food Safety Authority with an expert network in the field of chemical food safety. The first step to achieve this objective is to explore and compare the systems of chemical food safety in the participating countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.
National authorities have the responsibility and obligation to ensure that toxic chemicals, such as pesticides, heavy metals, environmental contaminants and natural by occurring toxins, are not present in naturally food at  levels that may adversely affect the health of consumers. On the basis of this information, recommendations about how to improve chemical food safety management in the participating countries will be prepared. This will be achieved by through activities planned for two working groups: one aimed at gathering knowledge of the sources of dietary data in individual countries and the other focusing on the strategies/approaches and capabilities of monitoring chemical contamination of food. Chemicals are nowadays produced and marketed in large amounts.
So far dangerous compounds have been found mainly as a result of chemical monitoring carried out after the emergence of problems related to human health. Contamination of food, including drinking water, by potentially hazardous substances is a worldwide concern of public health. Chemicals residues may affect all major organs of the body, causing serious health conseguences like cancer, birth defects, and brain damage. More information on Web-site: