The European Commission (EC) has launched a new Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality in Strasbourg, France, to address the growing consumer concerns about food quality and fraudulent practices in the industry.

Operated by the Joint Research Centre, the new facility will include a team of experts working within and outside of the EC.

The Joint Research Centre has been developing, applying and validating analytical test methods to detect fraud in the food chain.

The team of experts will be supporting EU policymakers and national authorities by sharing latest scientific knowledge on food fraud and quality issues.

“The launch of the Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality is an important step.”

EC Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Tibor Navracsics said: “Food is one area where science can very directly and tangibly demonstrate the benefits it brings to citizens. The quality of the food we eat is important to all of us, and because food fraud is a transnational criminal activity, the EU has a clear role to play in the response.

“The launch of the Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality is an important step. It will help protect the integrity of the EU food chain and safeguard the quality of food products, generating a clear added-value for Europeans.”

Fully funded by the EC, the new knowledge centre will be responsible for providing interactive maps, databases and newsletters, as well as release regular reports and make the information publicly accessible.

The new centre will also coordinate the market surveillance activities and establish an early warning and information system for food fraud, as well as share related information by integrating with the relevant systems of member states and the EC.