IFT Comments to EFSA on Human Health Risk - Benefit Assessment of Foods

April 15, 2010

Re: SCAF Consultation, Guidance on Human Health Risk - Benefit Assessment of Foods, Scientific Opinion of the EFSA Scientific Committee
Submitted electronically via: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/consultations/call/sc100226.htm

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) appreciates this opportunity to comment on the risk – benefit assessment guidance developed by the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) Scientific Committee. IFT expresses gratitude to the EFSA for taking on this important project and expresses support for a careful risk – benefit approach to food safety assessment. IFT does not have specific edits or suggestions for the guidance. IFT has been following the progress of the EFSA effort and will continue to be involved in this topic. Our Expert Report, "Making Decisions about the Risks of Chemicals in Food with Limited Scientific Information," published in 2009 noted the progress made to date by EFSA and within the 6th Framework Programme (BRAFO). IFT's Expert Report (accessible at http://www.ift.org/Knowledge-Center/Read-IFT-Publications/Science-Reports/Expert-Reports/Making-Decisions.aspx) specifically addresses the risks and benefits of the Maillard browning reaction in products, with a case study on coffee, and comparison of methyl mercury risks of seafood with nutritional benefits. The Expert Report recognizes the importance of evaluating the beneficial health effects of foods and beverages. With respect to toxicological risks of heat-induced chemicals in foods, the Expert Report states that "such an evaluation must carefully consider how best to interpret animal toxicology results for individual chemicals as well as any information indicating that a food or beverage may actually be cancer protective when evaluated as a whole." IFT exists to advance the science of food, and has the long-range vision to ensure a safe and abundant food supply contributing to healthier people everywhere. Founded in 1939, IFT is a nonprofit scientific society with 20,000 individual members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government, including many members in Europe. IFT champions the use of sound science across the food value chain through knowledge sharing, education, and advocacy, encouraging the exchange of information, providing both formal and informal educational opportunities, and furthering the advancement of the profession.

Marianne Gillette
IFT President

Story Tools