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EFSA’s Risk Assessments on Contaminants in the Food Chain


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) carries out risk assessments on food and feed safety. In Europe, risk assessment is done independently from risk management. EFSA produces scientific opinions and advice to provide a sound foundation for legislation. The EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the food chain (CONTAM Panel) carries out risk assessments in the area of chemical contaminants in food and feed. In order to assess the risk for public and/or animal health and to prepare the related scientific opinions, the CONTAM Panel collects and scrutinises scientific information available in the public domain on contaminants, their occurrence in food and feed, exposure to humans and animals, toxicokinetics and toxicity including dose-response data. Based on the available toxicity data, a health based guidance value (HBGV) such as a tolerable daily intake (TDI) or an acute reference dose (ARfD), are established. The estimated exposure levels are compared with the HBGV (humans), or with the identified no-observed-adverse-effect levels (animals) to conclude on the risk for humans and/or animals. If the establishment of an HBGV is considered inappropriate, the CONTAM Panel applies a margin of exposure approach. The scientific opinions are used by the risk managers such as the European Commission and Member States to decide the need for possible revisions of the current legislation and/or any other possible follow-up actions required in relation to contaminants in food and feed. This presentation gives an overview how the EFSA CONTAM Panel carries out risk assessment on contaminants in food and feed.

about 1 year ago

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