The technical report from JECFA’s 83rd meeting (held in November 2016) has been released. The following decisions on certain food contaminants are of particular interest:

  • aflatoxins were reaffirmed as some of the most potent known mutagens and carcinogens
  • 4,15-diacetoxyscirpenol (4,15-DAS) is structurally related to the type-A trichothecene toxins T-2 and HT-2 toxins. Therefore, the group provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) of 0.06 μg/kg bw/day, previously established by JECFA for T-2 and HT-2 toxins, was extended to include 4,15-DAS
  • fumonisins were reaffirmed as having a wide range of toxic effects, with the liver and kidney being the most sensitive target organs, and the previously established group PMTDI of 2 μg/kg bw (for the fumonisins FB1, FB2 and FB3, alone or in combination) was retained
  • glycidyl esters were considered to have genotoxic and carcinogenic effects when consumed as food contaminants, based on the assumption that these compounds are fully hydrolysed to glycidol. The Committee felt that the margins of exposure between estimated intake and a BMDL10 (for glycidol) of 2.4 mg/kg bw/day were low for a genotoxic and carcinogenic compound, and that this might represent a human health hazard
  • 3-monochloro-1,2-propanediol (3-MCPD) esters were considered to be completely hydrolysed in the gastrointestinal tract to 3-MCPD, a compound which has shown both reproductive toxicity and carcinogenicity. A new group PMTDI of 4 μg/kg bw was established for 3-MCPD and its esters (where previously it had been 2 µg/kg bw)
  • sterigmatocystin was concluded to be a genotoxin and carcinogen. Margins of exposure were not considered to indicate a human health concern, even at high estimates of intake, although it was recognised by the Committee that these values only represent crude estimates due to limitations in the data set

JECFA (2017). Eighty-third report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Evaluation of certain contaminants in food. WHO Technical Report Series 1002.


The above items were taken from the May 2017 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra.

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