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Food and feed genotoxic substances risk assessment - EFSA opinion up for review

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EFSA has launched a public consultation on a draft opinion developed by its scientific committee on the evaluation of the genotoxicity of substances in food and feed safety assessments.

The Authority noted that information on genotoxicity is a key component in risk assessment of chemicals in general, including those used in food and feed, consumer products, human and veterinary medicines, and industry.

Genotoxicity information is also essential for risk assessment of natural and environmental contaminants in food and feed, it added.

Genotoxic substances can cause damage to DNA, which can lead to genetic mutations that multiply over time and generations. These can result in adverse health effects such as hereditary diseases and cancer. 

Genotoxic substances can be manmade such as carbamates that are used to make pesticides, or naturally occurring, such as Aflatoxins.

Source: EFSA

The EU risk assessor’s draft opinion makes recommendations on the adequacy of specific tests to establish the genotoxic potential of substances.

The EFSA experts also provide advice on the use of data in a weight-of-evidence approach to conclude on genotoxic potential and the consequent setting of health-based guidance values for use in human health risk assessment.

The Authority said the opinion, when finalized, will improve clarity and predictability for applicants when preparing their dossiers for evaluation by EFSA. It will also help risk assessors when carrying out assessments of genotoxicity and risk managers when deciding on the approval of substances, it added.

Interested parties can submit written comments on the opinion until 6 September 2017.

The opinion can be found here.

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