Statement on recent scientific information on the toxicity of Ochratoxin A

Ochratoxin A, food, nephropathy
First published in the EFSA Journal
4 June 2010
19 May 2010


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked by the European Commission to assess recent scientific information on the toxicity of ochratoxin A and, if necessary, to update its opinion on ochratoxin A in food adopted on 4 April 2006 by the Scientific Panel on the Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM Panel). Five publications, most of which were from one research group, were submitted to the European Commission. The CONTAM Panel noted that four of these publications address the possible co-exposure to ochratoxin A and aristolochic acid of the human population in areas previously identified as having a higher prevalence of Balkan Endemic Nephropathy, the etiology of which has not yet been established, and the pathologies related to these two substances. In addition, a new method of analysis for multiple mycotoxins was presented in one of the papers, including data from breakfast cereals from the French retail market. The links to the respective abstracts are provided in the Appendix. The CONTAM Panel acknowledged the additional scientific information presented in the publications provided by the requestor. The Panel concluded that the nature of the information provided by these papers was not relevant to the overall assessment of the risks related to food contamination with the mycotoxin ochratoxin A, and as a consequence neither contradicts nor changes the conclusions drawn in the EFSA’s opinion on ochratoxin A in food. An update of the opinion on ochratoxin A, on the basis of the submitted papers, is therefore not necessary.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Jan Alexander, Diane Benford, Alan Boobis, Ceccatelli Sandra, Jean-Pierre Cravedi, Alessandro Di Domenico, Daniel Doerge, Eugenia Dogliotti, Lutz Edler, Metka Filipič, Johanna Fink-Gremmels, Peter Fürst, Peter Farmer, Thierry Guerin, Helle Knutsen, Miroslav Machala, Antonio Mutti, Josef Schlatter and Rolaf van Leeuwen.
Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain
contam [at]
EFSA Journal 2010; 8(6):1626
Question Number
On request from
European Commission