WHO Panel Discusses Food Fraud and Food Defense

ToxStrategies senior consultant and food defense expert Dr. Jennifer van de Ligt joined a specialized panel to discuss food fraud and defense as a part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Health Talks series. Intentional adulteration of food affects consumers globally—it’s estimated that about 10% of a typical consumer’s purchased food is affected. Food defense strives to protect the food supply, whether the adulteration was intended to harm people or not. Food fraud, the most common form of intentional adulteration, is financially motivated, especially in times of rising food prices, and may cause human health harm. In addition, the public is increasingly wary of the potential for intentional adulteration specifically intended to cause wide-scale public health harm. This virtual Health Talk, presented on June 9, 2022, reflected current food fraud and defense considerations from industry, academia, and policy makers on development and implementation of food safety and defense measures.

In addition to her consulting work with ToxStrategies, Dr. van de Ligt is the former director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute and a professor at the University of Minnesota. She was joined on the WHO panel by Captain Jon Woody (FDA), Professor Tim Lang (Centre for Food Policy, University of London), and Dr. Annie Locas (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).  Registrants can replay the recorded presentation here.

Article Discusses Uses of CDC’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals in Risk Assessments

ToxStrategies scientists Ann Verwiel, LeeAnn Racz, Liz Mittal, and William Rish have published an article titled, “CDC’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals” in SETAC Globe, the organization’s monthly newsletter. The CDC’s report provides statistical summaries of biomonitoring data collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The authors provide examples of how various risk assessors have used the NHANES data to better understand whether their study population experiences exposures that are different from those of the U.S. general population, or to evaluate how chemical exposures have changed over time. The article indicates that the descriptive statistics now provided by CDC are readily available and sufficient to compare to exposures in a specific population, such as communities with environmental justice concerns. The national data in the CDC Report can be used as a benchmark for local community data or to assess national exposures among minorities and children, who may be more vulnerable to chemical stressors or cumulative impacts from multiple stressors.