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Food Safety Focus (75th Issue, October 2012) – Food Incident Highlight

Avoid Endocrine Disruptors in Food

Recently, the Centre for Food Safety has conducted a literature review to examine the possible health risk associated with dietary exposure to some potential endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Although many EDCs have been reported to link with cancers and cause reproductive and developmental problems in humans, available data show that dietary exposure of the general population to the chemicals studied is below their respective safety reference values. They are unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

EDCs are naturally occurring or man-made substances that may mimic or interfere with the functions of hormones and thus affect the normal functions of tissues and organs. Food is considered an important source of exposure to EDCs which may present as contaminants from environment or food contact materials.

Consumers are advised to avoid excessive exposure to contaminants from a small range of food items especially bivalves, as they generally contain higher levels of EDCs and metallic contaminants.