The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has posted results from the second round of testing for 16 types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in foods collected for the Total Diet Study (TDS). These findings, along with the first round of testing results posted in October 2019, will inform the agency’s continued work to understand the occurrence of PFAS in the general food supply.
The most recent results show that out of 88 foods, one sample—tilapia—had a detectable level of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), which is a type of PFAS. This is the same PFAS that was detected in the two samples with detectable levels—ground turkey and tilapia—reported in the first round of testing in foods collected for the TDS. According to the agency, both sample sizes are limited and cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions. “Based on the best available current science, the FDA has no indication that PFOS levels found in the limited sampling from these TDS data sets present a human health concern,” wrote the agency in its press release.
The TDS is conducted on an on-going basis and serves as the FDA’s primary method of monitoring levels of various pesticide residues, contaminants, and nutrients in foods. PFAS are not currently part of the TDS. Results from the testing for PFAS in TDS foods will be used to determine how the FDA will monitor PFAS in foods going forward, including whether steps should be taken to include it in the TDS, and/or if targeted sampling assignments are necessary for certain foods.
“The results to date show that the 16 PFAS chemicals—for which we have a validated method—were not detected in most of the foods analyzed from Total Diet Study,” concluded the agency in the press release.
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