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December 27, 2019

EFSA Calls for Abstracts for Colloquium on Micro- and Nanoplastics in Food

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced a call for abstract submissions for oral presentations, posters, and poster pitches at its colloquium on “A coordinated approach to assess the human health risks of micro- and nanoplastics in food,” which will be held in Lisbon on June 8-9, 2020.  EFSA states that “[m]icroplastics are small particles of plastic less than 5mm in size; nanoplastics are even smaller, ranging from 1 to 100 nanometres (N.B. 1 nanometre equals one-millionth of a millimetre).”  In 2016, EFSA identified the need to generate more data on their occurrence levels in food and on their potential effects on human health following exposure.  According to EFSA, although international reports on microplastics and nanoplastics have been published recently, many of the food safety aspects remain unaddressed.  EFSA’s objectives are to:

  • Bring stakeholders together;
  • Understand the current state of play and ongoing research on this topic; and
  • Build possible synergies.

The program will include presentations and discussion groups exploring the following questions on microplastics and nanoplastics in food and feed:

  • Risk assessment: What data gaps need filling to allow risk assessments for health?
  • Society: What is driving public concerns, and what can help EFSA to understand people’s risk perceptions?

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2020.