May 2023: Redesignation WHO Collaborating Centre Chemical Food Safety
The WHO Collaborating Centre will continue strengthening chemical food-safety risk-assessment capacity in Europe and beyond, after being redesignated as a WHO CC until May 2027. “Chemical food safety is an increasing concern for the WHO European Region and globally, and the technical and scientific contribution of Collaborating Centres to WHO’s work is of utmost importance. The longstanding collaboration between WHO and RIVM has contributed to increased chemical food-safety risk-assessment capacity in the WHO European region,” explained Peter Sousa Hoejskov, technical officer at WHO Europe. Read more in this news item Chemicals in food: WHO Collaborating Centre boosts risk assessment in Europe
February & November 2022: Training courses on benchmark dose analysis
In February and November 2022, the WHO CC provided two identical courses on benchmark dose (BMD) analyses for experts of two FAO/WHO scientific committees (the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR)). Participants learned how to perform BMD analyses including interpretation of the results obtained. This knowledge will facilitate them in conducting risk assessments of contaminants, toxicants and (residues of) pesticides and veterinary drugs in food. The courses were well received.
The courses comprised of four online sessions of three hours each. In each session, presentations were given, and practical exercises using toxicological data were discussed. The presentations covered the principles of BMD analyses, various choices and techniques to derive a lower limit of the BMD (BMDL) as a point of departure for further risk assessment (e.g. to derive an acceptable or tolerable daily intake (ADI or TDI) or reference dose (RfD)), and several additional issues in BMD modelling. In between sessions, the participants performed BMD analyses using the web-based BMD-modelling software PROAST. The results of these analyses were discussed plenary during the online sessions.
November 2020: Update Chapter 6 of EHC 240
In November 2020, the second edition of Chapter 6 (Dietary Exposure Assessment for Chemicals in Food) of the Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) 240 (Principles and Methods for the Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Food) has been published on the WHO website. Chapter 6 deals with the assessment of dietary exposure of humans to chemicals present in food (i.e. food additives, contaminants, nutrients, pesticide residues and residues of veterinary drugs). The general principles and approaches are described, which are applicable to dietary exposure estimates for use in risk assessments. RIVM has contributed to this edition, mainly regarding the chapters dealing with probabilistic exposure modelling.
November 2020: Update of the pesticide dietary exposure assessment model
In November 2020, RIVM updated the calculation sheets of the International Estimate of Short-Term Intake (IESTI) as used by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) for dietary risk assessment. The latest consumption data available in EFSA’s Pesticide Residue Intake Model (PRIMo rev 3.1) were included to facilitate up-to-date dietary risk assessment for Codex Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). More information on the WHO website.
August 2020: Probabilistic assessment of acute dietary exposure to pesticide residues
In August 2020, the article "An international probabilistic risk assessment of acute dietary exposure to pesticide residues in relation to codex maximum residue limits for pesticides in food" (Amélie Crépet, The Minh Luong, Janis Baines, Polly E. Boon (RIVM), Julie Ennis, Marc Kennedy, Isabelle Massarelli, David Miller, Steve Nako, Rainer Reuss, Hae Jung Yoon & Philippe Verger) was published. In this paper, WHO performed a probabilistic acute dietary exposure assessment of 38 pesticides in eight countries considering actual levels of pesticide residues in food. The results show an absence of appreciable risk for all countries and populations considered and indicate that, with only a few exceptions, maximum residue limits established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission provide a high level of protection.
27 April 2020: 3rd redesignation WHO Collaborating Centre on Food Safety
On 27 April 2020, the World Health Organization has redesignated the Food safety department, Centre for Nutrition, Prevention and Health Services (VPZ), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) as WHO Collaborating Centre on Chemical Food Safety. The redesignation as WHO Collaborating Centre will be effective for a period of three years, from 30 May 2020 and will end on 30 May 2023. During these three years, the WHO Collaborating Centre on Chemical Food Safety will support the WHO by improving dietary exposure and hazard assessment methods, including probabilistic modelling and cumulative assessments. These methods will be made available for risk assessments conducted by experts of two FAO/WHO scientific committees (the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR)).
March 2019: Update of the pesticide dietary risk assessment models
In March 2019, RIVM updated the calculation sheets of the International Estimated Daily Intake (IEDI) and the International Estimate of Short-Term Intake (IESTI) as used by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) for dietary risk assessment. Both calculation sheets were re-arranged to match the modified Codex Food Classification System to facilitate the dietary risk assessment for group and subgroup Codex Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)
More information can be found on the FAO and WHO websites:
March 2019: Less-than-lifetime exposure model
In March 2019, the article " Harmonized methodology to assess chronic dietary exposure to residues from compounds used as pesticide and veterinary drug" (Davide Arcella, Alan Boobis, Peter Cressey, Holly Erdely, Vittorio Fattori, Jean-Charles Leblanc, Markus Lipp, Rainer Reuss, Stefan Scheid, Angelika Tritscher, Trijntje Van der Velde-Koerts (RIVM) & Philippe Verger) was published as open access article in Critical Reviews of Toxicology at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408444.2019.1578729 . The less-than-lifetime exposure model (GECDE) is a new model for pesticide use to cover the gap between a 24 hr acute exposure and a lifelong chronic exposure. The work of this international group was presented by Davide Arcella at the Fresenius Conference “Food Safety and Dietary Risk Assessment” held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 28-29 March 2019.
January 2019: Less-than-lifetime dietary exposure model
In October 2017, RIVM participated in an FAO/WHO expert group on the development of a dietary exposure model for simultaneous exposure from pesticides and veterinary drugs for a period early in life (infant, toddlers, young children) and for situations in which a high exposure is anticipated for more than one day in life. The global estimate of chronic dietary exposure (GECDE) model developed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA -veterinary drugs) in 2011 was considered a suitable model for these situations. The model was tested by the JECFA in October 2017 and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) in September 2018 and further improvements to the GECDE model were suggested. A publication of the work done by the expert group is anticipated in Critical Reviews of Toxicology in 2019.
September 2018: Update of the pesticide dietary risk assessment models
In September 2018, RIVM updated the calculation sheets of the International Estimated Daily Intake (IEDI) and the International Estimate of Short-Term Intake (IESTI) as used by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) for dietary risk assessment. Two major changes were implemented:
- The Pesticide Residue Intake Model (PRIMo, revision 3) as used by the European Foods Safety Authority (EFSA) was included in the IESTI calculation sheet in order to harmonise the IESTI between EU and Codex Alimentarius.
- Both calculation sheets were re-arranged to match the modified Codex Food Classification System to facilitate the dietary risk assessment for group and subgroup Codex Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)
More information can be found in the JMPR 2018 report and on the WHO website:
June 2018: Impact of changes in the short-term intake calculations for pesticides
In June 2018, a Special Issue of the Journal of Environmental Safety and Health Part B was dedicated to the impact of changes in the International Estimate of Short-Term Intake (IESTI) as used by JMPR and EFSA for dietary risk assessment. A total set of six publications was the joint achievement of RIVM with colleagues from Germany, France, Hungary, Australia, UK and EFSA. The publications are meant to feed the discussions in the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) on the appropriateness of the current short-term intake calculations. See also Key publications
April 2018: Fresenius Conference on Food Safety and Dietary Risk Assessment
In April 2018, experts from RIVM gave a presentation at the 16th International Fresenius Conference “Food Safety and Dietary Risk Assessment”, in Mainz, Germany. The presentation covered the work done for the WHO CC on Chemical Food Safety on the impact of changes in the International Estimate of Short-Term Intake (IESTI). The IESTI is used by JMPR for dietary risk assessment and the presentation was meant to help the discussion in the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) on the appropriateness of the current short-term intake calculations.
23-24 April 2018: TDS Training in Korea
RIVM provided training on the use of concentration data of Total Diet Study (TDS) for calculating the exposure to chemical substances via food in Korea on 23 and 24 April 2018. The probabilistic method to assess chronic exposure was presented, and how to perform such assessments with the Monte Carlo Risk Assessment (MCRA) computational tool. RIVM and Biometris, Wageningen UR have developed this tool for estimating the dietary exposure to chemical substances using probabilistic techniques. The tool is accessible via the internet. The training was a combination of theoretical sessions about exposure modelling and use of MCRA, and practical sessions about data management and the use of MCRA itself. The Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) and the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in Seoul, South-Korea hosted the training. KIHASA also contributed to the organisation of the training.
The training was attended by 25 participants from six countries, including China, Hong Kong (China), Australia, Palau, Cameroon, Singapore and Korea. These countries, except for Palau, have conducted or are presently conducting a TDS. The training was intended for countries outside Europe, with a focus on the West Pacific Region.
At the end of the two days, the participants expressed their appreciation for the training. They experienced the use of MCRA as easy and user-friendly and indicated their ability to assess chronic exposure using their TDS data with MCRA. Linking the foods analysed to those consumed and the organisation of their input data according to the MCRA format were experienced as the biggest challenges to use their TDS data for assessing the exposure with MCRA.
25 - 29 November 2017: TDS Pilot workshop in Iran
In November 2017, RIVM participated in a WHO consulting mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran for a four-day training workshop on Total Diet Study. The goals were to help and advise the Iranian team on the development of a TDS methodology on the latest science and best practices for conducting TDS. The workshop was hosted by the National Nutrition And Food Technology Research Institute (NNFTRI) in Teheran.
RIVM provided a lecture on probabilistic exposure modelling and technical training on the use of concentration data from a TDS within the probabilistic exposure tool Monte Carlo Risk Assessment (MCRA).
The workshop was attended by 33 attendees from different organisations within Iran, interested in TDS and risk assessment.