EU bee health Reference Laboratory operational in 2011

The European Commission announced plans to create an EU Reference Laboratory in the area of bee health. Parallel to this, the first ever bee health training course for officials of Member States under the Better Training for Safer Food initiative is also starting next week.

In recent years, reports indicated an increased mortality in bees in the EU and elsewhere. Although this has caused serious concern all over the world, scientific studies have not yet been able to determine the exact cause or the extent of this phenomenon. In December 2009, a study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended that surveillance for bee health needs to be better coordinated and harmonised at EU level. An EU reference laboratory is expected to provide scientific and technical support and will guide future EU action to better protect bees. The new EU lab is expected to become operational in early 2011.

Source: EU strengthens measures to prevent the spread of Equine Infectious Anaemia from Romania to other Member States (see last part of that story)