Benchmark dose modelling approach updated

Updated Scientific Committee guidance on how EFSA’s Scientific Panels apply the benchmark dose (BMD) in their scientific assessments is published today. A workshop to support its implementation will take place on 1-2 March 2017 and be live video streamed on EFSA’s website.

The BMD approach extends the use of dose-response data from studies in experimental animals to better characterise and quantify potential risks from chemicals in the food chain. In use at EFSA since 2009, the experience gained from its application and recent methodological developments led EFSA’s experts to update their guidance, including the following highlights:

  • Revised section on how to apply the BMD approach in practice, with model averaging now recommended as the preferred method for BMD calculations.
  • Default models for BMD analysis have been reviewed and a new criterion introduced.
  • A new flow chart and template provide a step-by-step guide for performing and reporting a BMD analysis.

A report on the public consultation on the draft guidance that took place in 2016 is also published today. The consultation gathered useful insights and contributions from the scientific community and other stakeholders, helping EFSA’s experts to finalise this important guidance document.

EFSA Workshop on Benchmark dose

EFSA is holding a workshop in Brussels on 1-2 March 2017 that brings together EFSA staff and experts from its Scientific Panels who deal with risk assessment of chemicals in the food chain. Representatives of the following organisations are invited to participate: European Medicines Agency, European Chemicals Agency, European Commission’s DG SANTE and its Scientific Committees, Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, and non-EU risk assessment bodies. Risk assessors from EU Member State food safety authorities working on dose-response modelling are also invited.

The workshop aims to increase awareness of the updated EFSA guidance and inform participants about a new web-based tool for BMD analysis (EFSA-Proast platform). It should also promote working towards a common understanding – in Europe and beyond – of the BMD approach and applying it in a harmonised way.