11 March 2016
1.2 million euros has been awarded to Cefas by the European Commission. This funding will enable continued delivery of scientific services to help ensure high quality and sustainable production of seafood for both consumers and the wider EU economy. The UK Government is providing further matched funding of £350,000 to support this important work.
Cefas has a long history of excellent high impact international science aimed at ensuring seafood is safe to consume (www.eurlcefas.org) and diseases affecting seafood production are properly controlled (www.crustaceancrl.eu). Recognising this internationally leading science, the EU has designated Cefas as the leading European reference laboratories (EURL) in these areas. The award renews these designations for a further two years.
EURLs are appointed and funded by the European Commission, in agreement with EU Member States, and have a vital role in their areas of expertise in leading and ensuring high quality European science. The Cefas laboratory is responsible for providing scientific advice to the European Commission and to all other EU Member States, for ensuring high quality of analysis for laboratory tests, for research into new and emerging problems, and for training laboratories in EU Member States and internationally.
As examples over recent years the Weymouth laboratory has led European efforts to develop methods for detecting and controlling norovirus in oysters, an important issue linked to pollution, and has advised on risk of exotic viral pathogens being transported to the EU in supermarket commodities. The laboratory collaborates widely within the EU and globally and is recognised as a centre of excellence. The EURL designations are supported by the Food Standards Agency and Department for Environment, Fisheries, and Rural Affairs. They also ensure that cutting edge science is applied to these fundamentally important topics of food security and food safety.
Tom Karsten Cefas CEO said ‘I am very pleased that the top quality and impact of Cefas science has been recognised by the European Commission with the continued funding of the EURL designations. The designation and funding provides an excellent platform for our scientists to operate at the highest international levels in their mission to help ensure the high quality of European seafood.’
Penny Bramwell, Director of Science, Evidence and Research, at the FSA said:
“The FSA is pleased to support this work by Cefas. It is further recognition of the important work the organisation carries out to protect consumers and support the shellfish industry. Good science and research is central to the FSA’s role and we look forward to our continued work with Cefas in our efforts to ensure UK shellfish is safe and sustainable.”