A European Union (EU) research project designed to examine human health damage caused by endocrine-disrupting trace chemicals in food is now operational.

The CASCADE (chemicals as contaminants in the food chain) network hopes to increase public awareness and “promote better decision-making among both consumers and policy makers regarding food” said a European Commission note.

Endocrine-disrupting chemical residues disrupt hormone distribution and have been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. To better understand these fears, CASCADE’s 23 research organisations will develop animal, cell and computer based tests to screen food extracts for a range of chemical residues, and “investigate their potential to interfere with nuclear receptor signalling pathways”.