Skip to main content

EFSA Scientific Colloquium 26: Risk‐benefit assessment of combined exposure to nutrients and contaminants through food

EFSA Journal logo
Wiley Online Library

Meta data

Disclaimer: The views or positions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent in legal terms the official position of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). EFSA assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear.


EFSA organised a scientific colloquium in February 2022 to obtain input from experts on existing and possibly new approaches to conducting health risk‐benefit assessment of foods. The complexity of the nutrients and chemical hazards in food presents challenges, such as developing methods to weigh nutritional and health benefits against the potential health risks in a meaningful manner that can be translated to dietary advice to consumers. The colloquium included an opening plenary session with four internationally renowned experts who set the scene with presentations on the current state of RBA and future risk‐benefit assessment needs. Subsequent discussions were organised in three break‐out sessions, each aimed at exploring one the following areas: a) understanding the needs of the risk managers for current and future risk‐benefit assessment of foods in European countries, b) assessing the strengths and weaknesses of existing and possible new approaches to risk‐benefit assessment, and c) assessing the data available and new data needed to enable risk‐benefit assessment approaches that can meet risk manager needs. For each break‐out session, participants were divided in four parallel groups with equal representation across expertise and sectors. The key outcomes of the colloquium will help to inform an update of the EFSA Scientific Committee's Guidance on human health risk‐benefit assessment of food, published in 2010. The updated guidance is intended to be published by the end of 2023 and will aim to inform wide‐ranging assessments of the health risks and health benefits of food, of which the assessment of health risks and benefits of fish consumption will be the first.