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The Committee on Food and Chemical Safety promotes a science-based determination of the chemical safety of foods to support the advancement of public health.

 

How this committee operates:

The Food and Chemical Safety committee focuses on many different issues related to the safety of the food supply.  In order to maximize output, the committee is segmented into 9 subcommittees, each focusing on a specific area of food and chemical safety.  Explore those subcommittees and the impact of their work below. 

Events
New Publications
Public Comments
Tools/Database
Events

SOT Annual Meeting & Expo
13-16 March 2017
more info

Public Comments

Redbook Comments - The committee constructed comments that were submitted to the US Food & Drug Administration in response to the agency's solicitation for comments related to the guidance document, "Toxicological Principles for the Safety Assessment of Food Ingredients" ("Redbook"). View these comments here

TTC: The Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) subcommittee developed comments on the committee's work in response to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service call for comments on the National Residue Program: Monitoring Chemical Hazards. View these comments here

Food Allergens: IOM-NRC consensus study on Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Policy. Read oral comments here.

Subcommittees

Process Formed Compounds
Next Generation Risk Assessment
Heavy Metals
FDA Redbook
Chemical Mixtures
Threshold of Toxicological Concern
Nanotechnology
Packaging
Food Allergens
Process Formed Compounds

The committee hosted a workshop in May 2015; Risk Based Process for Mitigation of Process-Formed Compounds. The objective of this workshop was to discuss a draft decision tree developed by the Technical Committee on Food and Chemical Safety to assess the true impact on risk caused by process-formed compounds. The outcome of the workshop was the ILSI North America decision tree that can be used by the scientific community and has the potential of being adopted as a global regulatory tool for evaluating the impact on risk caused by process-formed compounds.

Videos from the workshop

Read the workshop proceedings

Next Generation Risk Assessment

This subcommittee has done pioneering work on food-related chemicals in ToxCast and continues to make scientific contributions in the field.

  • The findings from different research projects will be presented at the upcoming SOT webinar on “Food-Relevant Chemicals in ToxCast and Potential Integration of High-Throughput Toxicity Testing in Assessing Chemical Safety”. More info
Heavy Metals
  • SOT 2016 - Heavy metal was one of the areas of focus for this year's SOT Annual Meeting. A scientific session on “Scientific and Regulatory Advances in Safety Evaluation of Heavy Metals in Food” developed by the Committee was presented at SOT 2016 Annual Meeting. The Metal Dietary Exposure Screening Tool and insights from arsenic research supported by the Committee were presented as a part of this session. More info.
  • Metal Dietary Exposure Screening Tool (MDEST)- This tool is "designed to be used by risk assessors/managers to rapidly evaluate potential public health risk when confronted with the detection of select heavy metals in foods and food ingredients." The heavy metals of interest are arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. The Committee prioritized the development of a heavy metal screening tool to provide additional context of risk to exposure of five heavy metals found in raw food ingredients. It is important to note, this tool is only one part of a comprehensive decision making process. The tool as well as related case studies and a manuscript are available here
  • Arsenic - publications
  • IAFP 2015 - "Heavy Metals in Foods" More Info
FDA Redbook

The FDA is currently updating its guidance entitled, “Toxicological Principles for the Safety Assessment of Food Ingredients,” known less formally as the “Redbook.”

  • Based on its work, the Committee provided oral comments on revisions to the Redbook at the FDA Public meeting in December 2014 and submitted written comments in April 2015 in response to the Federal Register Notice. The written comments can be found here.
  • ILSI North America was invited to present in a scientific session at the 2016 SOT meeting on “Updating the FDA’s RedBook - The Importance of Stakeholder Involvement”. More Info
Chemical Mixtures

Work relating to chemical mixtures was undertaken by the 2013 Summer Fellow.  The details of the work can be found in the Summer Fellow section of this page (below). 

Threshold of Toxicological Concern

The Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) is the basis of a practical approach for safety assessment of chemicals for which there are scant toxicological data, and has great potential for evaluating many of the chemicals occurring in our foods and in the environment. Due to ever-improving analytical capabilities, very low levels of unexpected chemicals can now be detected in foods. Although these may be toxicologically insignificant, such incidents often garner significant attention. Ongoing TTC-related projects are as follows.

  • Key Events Dose Response Framework - The objective of this work is to develop a framework asking: How does a chemical produce a toxic effect in an animal model (Mode of Action) and is the the Mode of Action in animals relevant to humans?
  • IAFP 2014: The committee sponsored a session: "Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)— A Pragmatic Approach to Determine the Risk of a Chemical Substance of Unknown Toxicity." More information can be found here.
Nanotechnology

The Committee’s engagement on nanotechnology is through support of the ILSI Research Foundation’s NanoRelease Food Additive Project, a collaborative public-private partnership. The goal is to develop knowledge in measuring key aspects of the biological relevance of nanomaterials in food contact materials and food additives in the gut. A “Workshop on Measurement Methods for the Release of Engineered Nanomaterials from Food and Absorption by the Body” was held in December 2012. The NanoRelease Food Additive project follows on the platform of the NanoRelease Consumer Products project to evaluate methods for characterizing the release of nanomaterials. The goal was to increase understanding of the safety of nano-scale materials and its potential use in food-related applications. Publications can be found in the publications section below. 

Packaging

This subcommittee is currently planning future work

Food Allergens

The Committee is a sponsor of the IOM Food Allergies Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention, and Public Policy Committee. IOM intends to convene an expert committee to examine critical issues related to food allergy (FA), including the prevalence and severity of FA and its impact on affected individuals, families, and communities; and current understanding of FA. More information can be found here.

IOM-NRC consensus study on Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Policy. Read the committee's oral comments here.

Summer Fellowship Program

2017 - Call for Applicaitons

Read the 2017 ILSI North America Summer Fellowship Announcement and application instructions here..

Applications are due Monday, 27 February 2017.

2016 - Alex Turley, PhD candidate, Michigan State University

The ToxCast program has generated a lot of in vitro high throughput screening (HTS) data, however, interpretation and use of the ToxCast data such as for safety assessment of food related compounds remains undetermined. The ILSI North America 2016 Summer Fellow conducted case studies using the Risk21 approach to better understand the ToxCast data for food-relevant chemicals and its potential use in chemical safety assessments by comparison with traditional toxicology studies.

2014 - Joshua Vaughan, PhD, New York University

"An Approach to Standardize the Concepts of “Lose Dose and Nonmonotonic Dose Response in Toxicological Research and Regulatory Science" - presented at:

2013 - Mansi Krishan, PhD, University of Cincinnati

"Toxicology and Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures." presented at the following meetings:

  • EuroTox 2015 
  • IAFP 2015 
  • EuroTox 2014 
  • SOT 2015
  • EFSA Scientific Colloquium N°21 on "Harmonisation of human ecological risk assessment of combined exposure to multiple chemicals" - A summary of this colloquium can be found here.
  • SOT 2014 - Mansi Krishan, PhD received the Food Safety Frank C. Lu Student Award at the 2014 SOT Annual Meeting. View Poster

A video interview with Dr. Krishan can be viewed here.

2012 - Agnes Karmaus, PhD
  • Publication: Evaluation of food-relevant chemicals in the ToxCast high-throughput screening program
  • SOT 2014 - "Evaluation of Food-Relevant Chemicals in ToxCast Phase II"
  • EPA Second ToxCast Data Summit, September 2014 - Agnes Karmaus(2012 Summer Fellow) presented a poster of her work "Bioactivity of Food-Relevant Chemicals in ToxCast" . The abstract is available here.
  • IUFoST 2014 - "Evaluation of Food-Relevant Chemicals in ToxCast"
  • IAFP 2014 -  "21st Century Chemical Food Safety Assessment Challenges"
  • SOT 2013 - "Evaluation of Food-Relevant Chemicals in ToxCast Phase II"
  • Read a blog from Dr. Karmaus about the fellowship here
  • A video inteview with Dr. Karmaus can be viewed here

This video draws on discussion and conclusions from the ILSI North America workshop “Insights and Perspectives on Emerging Inputs to Weight of Evidence Determinations for Food Safety: Workshop”

COMMITTEE MEMBERS 
Abbott Nutrition
Cargill, Incorporated
The Coca-Cola Company
Conagra Brands Inc.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Firmenich
General Mills, Inc.
The Hershey Company
Kellogg Company
Kraft Heinz Company
Mars, Incorporated
Mondelēz International
Nestlé USA
PepsiCo, Inc.
The Valspar Corporation
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS
Andy Maier, PhD
University of Cincinnati
Steve Roberts, PhD
University of Florida

GOVERNMENT ADVISORS

Randolph Duverna, PhD
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety & Inspection Service Office of Public Health Service
Suzanne Fitzpatrick, PhD, DABT
United States Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Kristin Isaacs, PhD
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Jorge G. Muniz Ortiz, PhD. DABT
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service

Past Publications

All Publications

Inorganic arsenic: A non-genotoxic carcinogen

The data strongly supports a non-linear dose response for the effects of inorganic arsenic. In various in vitro and in vivo models and in human epidemiology studies there appears to be a threshold for biological responses, including cancer.

Read more

Partitioning of Dietary Metal Intake—A Metal Dietary Exposure Screening Tool

Detection of heavy metals at trace or higher levels in foods and food ingredients is not unexpected given the widespread unavoidable presence of several metals in nature, coupled with advancement in analytical methods and lowering limits of detection. To assist risk managers with a rapid risk assessment when facing these situations, a metal dietary exposure screening tool (MDEST) was developed.

Read more

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Past Events

Past Events

Food-Use Chemicals in ToxCast: Identification, Curation, and Evaluation

Durham, NC, USA

Dr. Agnes Karmaus (ILSI North America 2012 Summer Fellow) has been invited to present at EPA’s Computational Toxicology Communities of Practice webinar series on the food-relevant chemicals in ToxCast. This work was supported by the ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food and Chemical Safety.

Read more

Food-Relevant Chemicals in ToxCast and Potential Integration of High-Throughput Toxicity Testing in Assessing Chemical Safety

Washington, D.C., USA

This webinar will provide a forum for integration of scientific disciplines such as food safety, emerging technologies with toxicology; and it will serve as an educational resource to communicate the impact and relevance of food safety and toxicology research with scientists in government, academia and industry.

Read more

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