EFSA at World Mycotoxins Forum – breaking the mould

Scientists from EFSA are playing an active role at this year’s World Mycotoxins Forum (in Vienna, from 10 to 12 November) with experts from the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM Panel) and EFSA scientific staff present. As part of the conference programme, EFSA has organised a dedicated seminar on “Mycotoxins and EFSA risk assessments – safer food and feed” to highlight various aspects of the Authority’s role and developments in this area.

WMF is one of the leading annual events on mycotoxins, bringing together academics, industry and public health officials to exchange views and experiences on the impact of mycotoxins on food and feed safety, food security, public health and international trade. Mycotoxins commonly enter the food chain through contaminated food and feed crops, mainly cereals. Some of them can lead to harmful health effects like cancer, gastrointestinal and kidney disorders.

Since 2004, the CONTAM Panel has produced 20 scientific opinions on mycotoxins, including on aflatoxins and other Aspergillus toxins, various Fusarium toxins, Alternaria toxins and ergot alkaloids. This work represents a comprehensive body of reviews of the current state of knowledge of mycotoxins and food and feed safety. EFSA’s work on feed additives also includes assessments of mycotoxin detoxifying agents.

In support of EFSA's participation at WMF, the Authority has produced a special newsletter that summarises its work on mycotoxins. In addition, EFSA interviewed Dr. Bruce Cottrill, an expert in animal nutrition and a member of the CONTAM Panel. As a long-serving member of the Panel’s mycotoxins working groups, Dr. Cottrill has been closely involved in EFSA’s most recent risk assessments of mycotoxins.