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Commission sets EU dioxin action limits

09.03.2002
Chemické látky
Commission sets EU dioxin action limits
The European Commission has recommended a series of thresholds for dioxin content of food and feedstuffs, any exceedences of which, it says, should trigger investigation of possible contamination sources by EU member state authorities. The levels are higher than legally binding dioxin content limits adopted by EU ministers last year. Both instruments are aimed at reducing dioxin exposure through food over the long term to below World health organisation (WHO) recommended levels (ED 29/11/01). Published in a non-binding EU recommendation, the \"action levels\" are differentiated by type of food or feed (see table below). The Commission says authorities should monitor food and take measures to \"reduce or eliminate\" contamination sources when levels above the action threshold are found. For states with abnormally high dioxin content, the levels should be adjusted so that around 5% of samples trigger investigations, it says. Foreseen in last October\'s EU dioxin and PCB strategy (ED 25/10/01), the action levels should gradually bring dioxin contamination down to a \"target\" background level low enough to enable the EU to achieve its tolerable weekly intake (TWI) for dioxins of 14 picograms of WHO toxic equivalents per kilogram of body weight. The target level itself will be determined in 2004. In its preamble to the recommendation, the Commission says that setting limits to achieve the TWI now would result in a large part of EU food supply being declared unfit for consumption. -------------------------------------------------- Food/feedstuff Dioxin action level (ng/kg) -------------------------------------------------- Fish oil 4.5 Fish and pet feed 1.5 Animal fat 1.2 Non-oil fish products 1.0 Feed materials of plant origin 0.5 Minerals and binders 0.5 Other land animal products 0.5 Compound feedingstuffs 0.4 -------------------------------------------------- Zdroj: ENDS
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