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Guides on the EU Health policy.
Antimicrobial Resistance - guide
With about 25,000 patients dying per year in the EU from infections caused by drug resistant bacteria and related costs of over 1.5 billion euros in healthcare expenses and productivity losses , antimicrobial resistance is a growing health problem in the EU. Today, on the eve of European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the European Commission tabled a comprehensive Action Plan on Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which unveils12 concrete actions to be implemented in close cooperation with the EU Member States.
Plant health pests and EU funding programmes to deal with them - guide
The European Union today earmarked 19 million euros to co-finance programmes in seven Member States aiming to combat organisms harmful to plants and to prevent them from spreading further in the Union and thus from having sever consequences on the internal market. During a meeting of the Standing Committee on Plant Health (SCPH), the Member States endorsed two Commission proposals providing the co-financing (EUR 15 and EUR 4 million respectively) of actions already undertaken in the past or planned to be executed next year.
EU move to reduce cigarette ignited fires - guide
Cigarettes left unattended are one of the leading causes of fatal fires in Europe. Evidence shows that the number of fatalities can be reduced by over 40% with the introduction of 'Reduced Ignition Propensity' (RIP) cigarettes. This means cigarettes which self extinguish when left unattended and which are thus less likely to cause fire. This safety measure is already in place in some countries globally (US, Canada, Australia), and, in the EU, in Finland since April 2010. As from 17th November 2011, once the new safety standards are published in the EU Official Journal all cigarettes sold in Europe will have to comply with these measures. It will be the role of the national authorities to enforce this new fire safety measure.
Food Additives - guide
The use of additives in food will soon become safer and more transparent thanks to two pieces of legislation adopted by the European Commission.
Health and Consumer Programmes 2014-2020 - guide
The European Commission has adopted proposals for the new Health for Growth and Consumer Programmes. The two programmes aim to foster a Europe of healthy, active, informed and empowered citizens, who can contribute to economic growth. These new programmes will run from 2014-2020 with a budget of EUR 446 million for the Health for Growth Programme and EUR 197 million for the Consumer Programme. Focus will be on fewer concrete actions that offer clear EU added-value.
Report documents growing importance of the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed
The European Union's system for quick exchange of information on risks linked to food and feed - an invaluable tool especially at times of crisis - has further grown in importance during 2010, the system's annual report reveals.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) - guide
EFSA publishes report from its Task Force on the E. coli O104:H4 outbreaks in Germany and France in 2011 and makes further recommendations to protect consumers
"Ex-smokers are Unstoppable" campaign - guide
Ex-smokers are unstoppable" is the slogan of the EU-wide campaign launched today by European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli. Tobacco is the single largest cause of avoidable illness in the European Union and the estimated cause of death of over 650,000 people in the European Union every year. 1 in 3 people smoke. The 3 year campaign being launched today will focus on the positive effects of stopping smoking and will use a coordinated mix of advertising, social media, events and practical tools to reach smokers and help them quit.
Traditional herbal medicines: more safety for products put on EU market
From 30 April 2011, EU citizens can be reassured that the traditional herbal medicines they buy in the EU are safe and effective. The expiry of the 7 year transition period set out in the 2004 Herbal Directive (2004/24/EC) means that only medicinal products which have been registered or authorised can remain on the EU market after 1 May 2011. The Herbal Directive introduces a simpler registration procedure than for other medicinal products, in respect of the long history of use of traditional herbal medicinal products. At the same time, the Directive provides the necessary guarantees of their quality, safety and efficacy.
New EU Guidelines on Colorectal Cancer Screening and Diagnosis - guide
On the eve of World Cancer Day, in an effort to improve the screening and diagnosis of colorectal cancer, the European Commission published the first edition of the European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Colorectal Cancer Screening and Diagnosis. Colorectal cancer is the second most common newly diagnosed cancer in the EU. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in the EU, accounting for one in seven new cancers and one in eight cancer deaths. Improving diagnosis and screening is key to reduce the mortality rates from colorectal cancer.
EU actions to fight HIV/Aids - key facts
To commemorate World AIDS Day, the European Parliament held a seminar on HIV testing. Early detection is vital for early treatment and increasing life expectancy, as estimates show that about one third of people infected with HIV in Europe are unaware they have it. To fight AIDS on a global scale, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs recently announced a 10% increase in contributions to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), to which the EU is already the largest donor, providing 52% of resources. The increase would allow the Commission to contribute around €1.3 billion over the period 2002-2013.
Cloning - guide
The European Commission has announced that it will propose a temporary suspension of animal cloning for food production in the EU. The Commission also plans to suspend temporarily the use of cloned farm animals and the marketing of food from clones. All temporary measures will be reviewed after five years. The establishment of a traceability system for imports of reproductive materials for clones, such as semen and embryos of clones is also envisaged. The system will allow farmers and industry to set up database with the animals that would emerge from these reproductive materials.
Safety of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Production - Communication
The European Commission for the very first time envisages comprehensive EU legislation on oil platforms aimed at ensuring the highest safety standards in the world. In a Communication on the safety of oil and gas activities, the Commission contemplates new EU standards, including criteria for granting drilling permits, controls of the rigs and safety control mechanisms.
Contraband and counterfeit cigarettes - guide
The European Commission has announced a multi-year agreement with British American Tobacco (BAT) to work together in tackling the illicit trade in tobacco products. Under the legally binding agreement, BAT will work with the Commission, its anti-fraud office OLAF, and EU Member States' law enforcement authorities to help in the fight against contraband and counterfeit cigarettes. The Agreement includes substantial payments by BAT to the Commission and Member States, totalling USD 200 million (EUR 134 million) over the next 20 years. It should make a significant contribution to the EU’s efforts to fight the illicit tobacco trade, which robs the EU and Member States of billions of euros every year.
EU's new approach to the cultivation of GMOs - guide
The European Commission has proposed to confer to EU Member States the freedom to allow, restrict or ban the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on part or all of their territory. While keeping unchanged the EU's science-based GM authorisation system, the adopted package consists of a Communication, a new Recommendation on co-existence of GM crops with conventional and/or organic crops and a draft Regulation proposing a change to the GMO legislation. The new Recommendation on co-existence allows more flexibility to Member States taking into account their local, regional and national conditions when adopting co-existence measures. The proposed regulation amends Directive 2001/18/EC to allow Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory.
EU bathing water policy - briefing
The annual bathing water report presented by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency shows that 96% of coastal bathing areas and 90% of bathing sites in rivers and lakes complied with minimum standards in 2009. It also describes where to obtain detailed and up-to-date information on bathing sites.
The fight against tobacco in the EU - briefing
Ahead of the 2010 No Tobacco Day (31 May), the European Commission unveils the results of a Eurobarometer survey which shows that a strong majority of EU citizens support stronger tobacco control measures. For example, three in every four Europeans supports picture health warnings on tobacco packs and smoke free restaurants. The survey also shows, however, that nearly one in every three Europeans still smokes, despite the fact that tobacco kills half of its users. The Commission is planning to launch an open consultation shortly with a view to revising the 2001 Tobacco Products Directive and is stepping up its tobacco control efforts throughout the EU.
EU Directive on Organ Donation and Transplantation - briefing
People needing organ transplants should face shorter waiting times after the European Parliament approved on 19 May 2010 a draft directive on quality and safety standards for human organs used for transplants. The directive covers all stages of the chain from donation to transplantation and provides for cooperation between Member States. MEPs also adopted a resolution on an Action Plan for organ donation.
Key facts about bird flu (Avian Influenza)
The European Commission adopted today a decision confirming the risk areas set up by the Romanian authorities in relation to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a backyard poultry farm located in the commune of Letea, in Tulcea county, at the Danube's delta close to the Ukrainian border.
Safety of sunbeds - briefing
Consumers should be aware of the potential risks associated with using sunbeds according to the results of a market surveillance check of sunbeds and sunbed services, published today by the European Commission. Market surveillance authorities in 10 EU Member States inspected more than 500 sunbeds at over 300 locations (mostly tanning salons and wellness centres) between September 2008 and September 2009, and found three main problems: UV radiation limits for sunbeds were violated in one in seven sunbeds made available at tanning services; consumer guidance, including on the hazards of UV radiation or prohibiting their use by under 18s was not provided; there were insufficient warnings on the sunbeds themselves (e.g. that UV radiation may cause injury). Authorities are intensifying their work to ensure compliance with all relevant safety legislation and the results of the 2008/2009 check will feed into a follow up project launched today by authorities in 12 Member States to train more inspectors and improve information to consumers. Authorities are also working more with the sunbed industry, which is itself developing training material for service providers such as tanning studios.