Scientific Opinion on the risks for animal and public health related to the presence of phomopsins in feed and food
Phomopsins are a family of mycotoxins produced by the fungus Diaporthe toxica (formerly referred to as Phomopsis leptostromiformis). Lupins are the main host for the fungus, and infected stubble is the major source of animal exposure to phomopsins. Lupin seed is used in food and feed production, but the extent is poorly documented and data on the occurrence of phomopsins in lupin-based foods and feeds are limited. Therefore, it was not possible to assess dietary intake of phomopsins. Phomopsins are modified polypeptides, which bind with high affinity to tubulin isotypes and disrupt microtubular functions. Phomopsin A, the major toxic congener, is hepatotoxic in all animal species tested at sufficient doses. Phomopsin A is also hepatocarcinogenic in rats. The absence of either dose-response information on toxicities associated with phomopsins or exposure/occurrence data precludes an assessment of human or animal risks. However, the severity of toxicities in numerous animal species suggests that human and livestock exposures should be kept as low as possible.