Scientific Opinion on the risks for animal and public health related to the presence of phomopsins in feed and food

Lupin, phomopsins, hepatotoxicity, hepatocarcinogenicity, Diaporthe Toxica, Phomopsis Leptostromiformis
First published in the EFSA Journal
23 February 2012
2 February 2012
Scientific Opinion


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.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Jan Alexander, Diane Benford, Alan Boobis, Sandra Ceccatelli, Bruce Cottrill, Jean-Pierre Cravedi, Alessandro Di Domenico, Daniel Doerge, Eugenia Dogliotti, Lutz Edler, Peter Farmer, Metka Filipič, Johanna Fink-Gremmels, Peter Fürst, Thierry Guerin, Helle Katrine Knutsen, Miroslav Machala, Antonio Mutti, Martin Rose, Josef Schlatter and Rolaf van Leeuwen
Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain
contam [at]
EFSA Journal 2012;10(2):2567
Question Number
On request from
European Commission