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EFSA states actual dioxin potential in pork

The European Food Safety Authority has published its statement in response to the discovery of dioxin contamination in some Irish pork. The European Commission asked the EFSA to provide scientific assistance on the risks for human health related to the possible presence of dioxins in pork and products containing pork.

EFSA concluded that if someone ate an average amount of Irish pork each day throughout the period of the incident (90 days), 10% of which was contaminated at the highest recorded concentration of dioxins, the body burden would increase by approximately 10%, which is considered to be of no concern for this single event.

In a very extreme case, if someone ate a large amount of Irish pork each day, 100% of which was contaminated at the highest recorded concentration of dioxins, EFSA concludes that the safety margin embedded in the tolerable weekly intake (TWI [3]) would be considerably undermined, which would reduce protection, but not necessarily lead to adverse health effects.

The EFSA based its statement on the assumption that exposure at these high levels only began in September 2008 and that effective measures have now been taken to remove this excessive exposure from Irish pork and pork products.

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