EU launches project to check PFAS levels in food

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food safety, European food safety, European union, European food safety authority, Perfluorooctanoic acid

Food safety bodies throughout the European Union have been urged to monitor levels of a range of perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) in food over the next two years.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended that more information on PFAS levels in food and humans to establish levels of exposure to the chemical would be “desirable”,​ said the Official Journal of the European Union.

PFAS and subsets perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA), as well as their salts are widely used in a swathe of industries and are known to be present in the environment, fish, birds and mammals.

EFSA’s Scientific Panel concluded in 2008 that adverse effects in the general population from the chemicals were unlikely but said there were “uncertainties with regards to developmental effects in living organisms”.

Wide variety

Brussels has therefore adopted a recommended that countries monitor PFAS levels in 2010 and 2011.

“The monitoring should include a wide variety of foodstuffs reflecting consumption habits including food of animal origin such as fish, meat, eggs, milk and derived products and food of plant origin in order to enable an accurate estimation of exposure”,​ said the EC.

National food safety authorities have been instructed to provide EFSA with regular updates on their testing results “expressed on whole weight basis with the information​”. The figures will be compiled into a region-wide database.

Any data from previous years should also be submitted in a bid to generate reliable results to monitor trends in exposure”.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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