The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has delivered urgent scientific advice to the European Commission on the possible risk to public health resulting from a temporary increase in the permitted levels of three mycotoxins in maize and maize products.
EFSA prepared a scientific statement for the Commission following a request from France for a temporary derogation from the maximum levels of deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZON) and fumonisins in maize and maize products for the 2013 harvest.
The EFSA statement is based mainly on occurrence data for the 2013 harvest supplied by the French authorities. It concludes that allowing a temporary increase in levels of the three mycotoxins in maize is unlikely to have a significant impact on public health, but points out that total exposure from all sources is already approaching safe maximum levels for some consumers. There are also concerns that the data used for the assessment may not be representative of the situation across Europe and that mycotoxin levels in maize products from other countries should also be considered.
The Commission will now consider the statement before deciding whether to allow the French derogation request. The EFSA statement can be downloaded in full here.