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Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev 1997;3(3):275-8

Commentary: Safety/risk assessment of neurodevelopmental toxins in food

Bolger M


A number of substances of natural and anthropogenic origin that may exhibit neurodevelopmental potential have been associated with the food supply. In describing the safety assessment process and standards that are used to evaluate the public health significance of these types of substances in food, a clear understanding of the relationship between the requirements of the law and the scientific knowledge required to meet the statutorily mandated safety standards is necessary. The process by which the FDA considers dietary neuroeffective substances is dependent on the statutory mandate under which it operates, namely the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act of 1958. The FD&C Act specifically mandates 1) the types of food-related substances and associated adverse health effects; 2) the scientific standards of safety/risk; and 3) the assignment of burden of required to achieve compliance with these standards. The categories of food substances vary in their safety/ risk objectives from zero/negligible risk to significant probability of harm. In order to monitor dietary changes, the FDA develops data for estimating changes in dietary exposure of consumers to foodborne substances. The toxicological testing and assessment methodologies utilized to uncover the neurotoxic/developmental properties of food-borne substances can vary considerably. Various regulatory/control procedures are available to maximize public health protection by assuring that the public is either not exposed, or exposure is minimized, to levels that pose negligible risk of neurodevelopmental effects. In exercising its public health and regulatory responsibilities for food-borne substances, the FDA is committed to assessing all relevant toxicological end points, including those substances that have the potential to elicit neurodevelopmental effects.

Category: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2779(1997)3:3<275::AID-MRDD8>3.0.CO;2-O
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Food
Entry Created: 2012-12-26