The Science of Dioxin

June 30, 2015

European Food Safety Authority Seeks Dioxin Risk Assessment for Feed and Food

The European Food Safety Authority (“EFSA”), following a call from the European Commission, has issued a request for a “scientific statement on the health based guidance value” for dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (“dl-PCBs”).

A new EFSA scientific statement reviewed what it characterized as the different recommended “safe levels of dioxins in food and feed.” The EFSA then recommended and accepted a request from the EU for a “comprehensive risk assessment for animal and human health related to the presence of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in food and feed.”

This will be the first EFSA risk assessment of dioxins in feed.

The EFSA observed that different organizations have done risk assessments of dioxins resulting in different recommended safety levels (known as “health-based guidance values”). The EFSA said that it reviewed the guidance values and approaches taken by the former Scientific Committee on Food (of the European Commission), the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (“JECFA”), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EFSA concluded that, in view of the “different approaches used in the most recent assessments undertaken by the authorities, it would appear appropriate to undertake a comprehensive risk assessment on the risks for animal and human health related to the presence of dioxins and [dl-PCBs] in feed and food.”

Dioxin 2015 Conference Scheduled for Brazil

A “Dioxin 2015” conference, which the organizers name “The 35th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants,” is scheduled to be held from August 23 to August 28 in São Paulo, Brazil.

The conference chair is João Vicente de Assunção of the University of São Paulo. The conference website lists the organizing committee as:

  • Cintia Hayashi (SPCVB)
  • Cláudia M. Sanches Campanelli (CETESB)
  • Elisabete Sorrentino (SPCVB)
  • Helena Ribeiro (USP)
  • João Paulo Torres (UFRJ)
  • Lady Virginia Traldi Meneses (CETESB)
  • Maria Cecilia de Oliveira (CETESB)
  • Pedro Caetano Sanches Mancuso (CEAP)
  • Rodrigo Cordeiro (Acqua Consultoria)

The conference website describes the scope of the conference as follows:

Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants are chemicals that represent a worldwide recognized threat for the environment and humans. The 35th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants Dioxin 2015), will continue as the leading international conference for scientists and regulators to present recent advances in all areas dealing with these chemical contaminants.

Dioxin 2015 gathers a scientific community determined to look for new scientific strategies, policies and technological advances to protect the global environment from POPs and related chemicals and preserve human and ecosystem health worldwide.

The keynote lectures currently listed as confirmed are:

  • POPs and Endocrine Disruption: Hidden Threats to Birds- A History of Organochlorine Contamination.

Lecturer:  Dr. Robert W. Risebrough, Ph.D. – Executive Director, The Bodega Bay Institute – Berkeley; CA, USA.

  • The process and the status of recent evaluations with respect to POPs.

Lecturer:  Dr. Kurt Straif, Ph.D., epidemiologist, WHO, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France, Head, Section of IARC Monographs

  • Chiral Chemicals as Tracers of Atmospheric Sources and Fate Processes in a World of Changing Climate.

Lecturer:  Dr. Terry F. Bidleman, Ph.D. – Senior Research Scientist, Air Quality Research Division, Enviornment Canada, Centre for Atmospheric Research Experiments, Egbert, Ontario, Canada

  • Risk-benefit Situation of POPs Contamination of Human Milk Worldwide.

Lecturer:  Professor Martin van den Berg, Ph.D., Head Toxicology and Veterinary Pharmacology Division, Deputy Director, Institute for Rish Assessment Sciences (“IRAS”), Utrecht University, The Netherlands

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