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14M For EU Reference Laboratories In 2012

EU - The European Commission has adopted the proposal endorsed by the Standing Committee of the Food Chain and Animal health held on 6 December 2011 to earmark 14 million for the support of EU Reference Laboratories (EU-RLs) in 2012.

With this financial support the European Commission encourages the EU-RLs to continue with their active contribution in providing technical support to the Commission and the Member States towards implementation of EU policies for consumer protection and animal health, such as the excellent work done by the EU Reference laboratory for Escherichia coli to manage the 2011 crisis.

There are 43 designated European Union Reference Laboratories. EU-RLs provide essential scientific and technical support in the area of feed and food safety and animal health and are the main pillar of the EU laboratory network comprising EU-RLs, National reference Laboratories and Routine Laboratories.

The functioning of the EU-RLs is co-financed by the annual EU grant and the Member States hosting the EU-RL, this later covering in particular costs related to buildings and facilities. EU-RLs have submitted their 2012 work programmes and corresponding budget estimates that have been assessed by the Commission considering EU priorities and Member State needs.

In 2012, the EU-RLs will receive EU grants totalling of €14 million in order to co-finance their activities at the rate of 100 per cent of eligible costs as described in the work programmes.

For more information please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/controls/reference_laboratories/index_en.htm and http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/laboratories/index_en.htm

Lucy Towers

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