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Implementing NAMs in food safety assessments: Strategic objectives and actions taken by EFSA


This review provides an overview of the current EU regulatory requirements for food and feed safety and explores how NAMs can be included to meet (at least in part) such requirements. In silico methods such as (Q)SAR and read-across are included in this review together with the main references.


The successful use of (Q)SAR to predict genotoxicity is already part of our NAMs training,

the EFSA applications of grouping of chemicals will be introduced in the 2023 update of the course, while the EFSA guidance in the use of the read-across approach in food safety assessment will be introduced as soon as it is published (expected in 2024).


Successful uses of QSAR for EFSA’s purposes include the prediction of genotoxicity from direct-acting mutagens, as well as for certain minor metabolites of plant protection products.


The grouping of chemicals into chemically related groups and the application of read across have been central to the approaches used for flavourings and used on an ad-hoc basis for food contact materials and some data-poor impurities. Read-across has also been proposed in the risk assessment of plant protection products’ metabolites and for the assessment of the combined exposure to multiple chemicals, especially when dealing with (sufficiently) similar mixtures and to support the grouping of chemicals into assessment groups. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2021.7033 and doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5634


More recently, EFSA has initiated the development of a guidance on the use of the read-across approach in food safety assessment. The aim of this work is to develop a pragmatic guidance providing a harmonised approach for the use of read-across in the different sectors pertinent to EFSA’s remit, but also to assess the impact of NAM data to decrease the uncertainty associated with chemical-only based read-across. Completion is expected by 2024.


To read the full document:

Cattaneo, I., Astuto, M.C., Binaglia, M., Devos, Y., Dorne, J.-L.C.M., Ana, F.A., Fernandez, D.A., Garcia-Vello, P., Kass, G.E.N., Lanzoni, A., Liem, A.K.D., Panzarea, M., Paraskevopulos, K., Parra Morte, J.M., Tarazona, J.V., Terron, A., Implementing New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) in food safety assessments: Strategic objectives and actions taken by the European Food Safety Authority, Trends in Food Science & Technology (2023), doi: https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2023.02.006.

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