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Dietary Reference Values (DRVs)

Last updated:
8 December 2017
Dietary reference values (DRVs) is an umbrella term for the complete set of nutrient reference values which include population reference intakes (PRIs), the average requirements (ARs), adequate intakes (AIs) and reference intake (RIs) ranges for macronutrients. These values indicate the amount of a nutrient which must be consumed on a regular basis to maintain health in an otherwise healthy individual (or population). This virtual issue brings together all 32 of EFSA's scientific opinions that have been published over 7 years, covering water, fats, carbohydrates and dietary fibre, protein, energy, as well as 14 vitamins and 13 minerals. 

Chemical residues data

Last updated:
8 December 2017
Residues of some chemicals are unintentionally present in some foods as a result of food production, e.g. spraying of crops with pesticides, use of veterinary medicines for food-producing animals.
  • EFSA publishes an annual report on pesticide residues in the EU based on monitoring information received from all EU Member States plus Iceland and Norway. As well as an overview of pesticide residues found in food throughout the EU, the report assesses the exposure of consumers through their diets.
  • EFSA also supports the European Commission in the production of an annual report on veterinary medicinal residues in food from animals based on aggregated data submitted by Member States to the Commission. 

Scientific colloquia

Last updated:
8 December 2017
The EFSA Scientific Colloquium Series started in 2004 so EFSA can engage in scientific discussion and debate with leading scientists from Europe and beyond.

Assessment of diseases according to Animal Health Law criteria

Last updated:
22 November 2017

The European Parliament and the Council adopted the Regulation on transmissible animal diseases (“Animal Health Law”) in March 2016 (Regulation (EU) 2016/429). With this comprehensive new animal health law several different legislative acts are compiled into a single robust legal framework on animal health. The main driving principles of the Animal Health Law are animal disease prevention, control & eradication, and the guarantee of safe and smooth market of animals and of their products inside and from outside EU. The Regulation sets out a list of diseases that may be amended where necessary to protect public and animal health in the Union. The European Commission has requested EFSA scientific advice to enable the assessment of, so far, 29 diseases according to the criteria for listing and categorisation of disease according to the AHL. Those criteria constitute the benchmarks for the exercises of listing and categorisation and for determining the disease prevention and control rules to be applied to the different categories of listed diseases.

Cross-cutting guidance

Last updated:
20 November 2017
Guidance of the Scientific Committee/EFSA on broad assessment principles (e.g. uncertainty analysis, statistical reporting, structure of outputs) that apply to all or most of EFSA's scientific assessments.

Biological hazards data

Last updated:
17 November 2017
EFSA analyses data on zoonotic diseases (infections and diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans), antimicrobial resistance and food-borne outbreaks across the EU.

Data are submitted annually by Member States, in compliance with EU regulation.

Foodborne diseases – EU regulation
EFSA publishes, in collaboration with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), annual European Union Summary Reports based on this data.

EFSA also analyses the EU-wide baseline surveys on zoonotic agents (such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria, in animals and food), and on antimicrobial resistance. These surveys are fully harmonised and therefore provide comparable values for all Member States.

Protecting bee health in Europe

Last updated:
29 September 2017
Beekeeping is an ancient tradition, and honey bees have been kept in Europe for several millennia. Bees are critically important in the environment, sustaining biodiversity by providing essential pollination for a wide range of crops and wild plants. They contribute to human wealth and wellbeing directly through the production of honey and other food and feed supplies such as: pollen, wax for food processing, propolis in food technology, and royal jelly as a dietary supplement and ingredient in food.

It has been estimated that, of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of food worldwide, 71 are pollinated by bees. The majority of crops grown in the European Union depend on insect pollination. Beyond the essential value of pollination to maintaining biodiversity, the global annual monetary value of pollination has been estimated at hundreds of billions of euros. In view of the important ecological and economic value of bees, there is a need to monitor and maintain healthy bee stocks, not just locally or nationally, but globally. Over the past 10 to 15 years, beekeepers have been reporting unusual weakening of bee numbers and colony losses, particularly in Western European countries including France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

No single cause of declining bee numbers has been identified. However, several possible contributing factors have been suggested, acting in combination or separately. These include the effects of intensive agriculture and pesticide use, starvation and poor bee nutrition, viruses, attacks by pathogens and invasive species – such as the Varroa mite (Varroa destructor), the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina), and the small hive beetle Aethina tumida and environmental changes (e.g. habitat fragmentation and loss).

EFSA has an important role to play in ensuring that healthy bee stocks are maintained in Europe, given its mandate to improve EU food safety and animal health and to ensure a high level of consumer protection. A number of the Authority’s Scientific Panels and Units contribute to this work, principally in the areas of pesticides, animal health and welfare and plant health, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), data collection and scientific assessment.

Joint EFSA/EBTC scientific colloquium on evidence integration in risk assessment

The science of combining apples and oranges

EFSA Virtual Issue/Meeting
Lisbon, 25 Oct 2017 - register now

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