An international initiative to raise Asian food safety standards to those required by the European Union (EU) for imports has been launched with the support of the European Commission.

It is donating €597,000 (US$770,865) to the SELAMAT project, which aims to create a network of European and Asian food institutes, swapping information and best practice on meeting EU health-based food regulations.

The initial partners are the Netherlands’ RIKILT Institute of Food Safety, Britain’s Central Science Laboratory, Portugal’s Institute of Experimental and Technical Biology and China’s Institute of Plant Protection. SEMALAT will last four years and stage international seminars to attract new participants and spread knowledge.