Zuckerman Archive: Zuckerman Project (EEC-UK Initiative in the Socio-Medical Field)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1187 SZ/ZP
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 box; two files; 1.5 linear feet

Scope and Content

This series is indicative of the way in which Solly Zuckerman continued to act as a government adviser after his official retirement and is to some extent complementary to series SZ/WHO, World Health Organization, 1966-1984 and SZ/CS, Cadbury Schweppes, 1970-1991

Administrative / Biographical History

On 14 August 1972 the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, minuted Solly Zuckerman with a request to prepare a paper for discussion with the Departments of Health and Social Security, and Education and Science with a view to the UK tabling a health initiative at a forthcoming European Economic Community (EEC) summit meeting. In the event insufficient progress was made for a formal proposal to be submitted, and instead it was decided that the Prime Minister would simply make reference to the matter in his speech. The objective of the proposed inititiative was towards widening the Community from an economic one, and hence should be in the social or socio-medical field, and concerned with improving the lot of ordinary people [minutes of a meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, 5 October 1972]. Zuckerman's paper highlighted one particular issue: health and nutrition, where The present piecemeal approach was inefficient and frequently ineffective [op. cit.]. Subsequent enquiries and consultations narrowed the focus to the safety of food additives, pesticides and pharmaceuticals.

In January 1973 the Prime Minister charged the Lord Privy Seal, Lord Jellicoe, who chaired the Ministerial Committee on Science and Technology, with the task of setting up a working party to take forward what had become known as the Zuckerman Project. The Working Party was chaired by Solly Zuckerman, and its terms of reference were To consider the arrangements for food and drug safety and similar matters within the countries of the EEC; how the process of their harmonisation might be speeded up, and to make proposals. It met for the first time on 8 March 1973. In July 1973 Zuckerman reported to the Prime Minister on its first fruits, with which he was not all that happy but in view of the lack of enthusiasm in some official quarters thought them the best that could have been achieved at a first bite [Zuckerman to Prime Minister, 25 July 1973]. These first fruits comprised the establishment of an EEC Toxicology Committee designed to engender a concerted Community view on matters where professional expert opinion is involved [op. cit.]. Zuckerman envisaged that this would lead, in due course, to the creation of an EEC Toxicology Centre. The Working Party's proposal was taken forward to the EEC Council of Ministers, where it was approved.


  • SZ/ZP/1 Background Papers, 1969-1973 [in two sub-files]
  • SZ/ZP/2 Memoranda, Minutes, Correspondence, 1972-74, 1976.

Provisional arrangement of files; more material may come to light.

Access Information

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.



Other Finding Aids

An MS list of the contents is available for consultation in the Archives Department.

Conditions Governing Use

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.