Risk assessment of dioxins and dl-PCBs in food
The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) will perform exposure assessments of dioxins and dl-PCBs in food in Norway.
Dioxins and dioxin-like (dl-) PCBs are lipophilic environmental chemicals with long half-lives. We are exposed to dioxins and dl-PCBs mainly through consumption of foods with high fat content, like meat, dairy products and fish. Exposure over the years and accumulation in the body may be of health concern.
In the newly published risk assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, 2018) the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) was reduced from 14 to 2 pg/kg bodyweight/week. According to the EFSA report, the European population is exposed to dioxins and dl-PCBs above the new TWI, and the main food contributors of dioxins and dl-PCBs are fish, seafood, meat, egg and dairy products. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) asks The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) to perform exposure assessments of dioxins and dl-PCBs in food in Norway.
Terms of reference
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) asks VKM to
- Perform exposure assessments of dioxins and dl-PCBs for the total Norwegian diet and assess if the Norwegian population or sub-groups of the population have different eating patterns leading to different dietary dioxin and dl-PCB exposures compared to what EFSA reported for the European population. NFSA asks VKM to assess if separate calculations are needed for sub-groups of the population or for certain food categories (beyond those already mentioned in 2. and 3. below). If yes, NFSA asks VKM to perform the necessary assessments and calculations.
- Perform a risk assessment of dioxins and dl-PCBs in marine oils taken as foodsupplements.
- Calculate how much reindeer meat (with the reported dioxin and dl-PCB values) that can be consumed before the TWI of dioxins and dl-PCBs will be exceeded? Alternatively, what is the additional contribution of dioxins and dl-PCBs from reindeer meat compared to an average diet?
- Assess health consequences of exceeding the TWI, both related to duration and degree of TWIexceedances.
- Identify risk-reducing factors, which could reduce dioxin and dl-PCB exposure in the population. If possible, present the risk reducing effects quantitatively.
The risk assessment will be published during spring 2022.