Mycotoxins EU regulations: are the limits too strict, too weak, or just fine?

The contamination of food and feed with mycotoxins is a global threat to food safety and has great public health and economic significance. The EU has regulated most mycotoxins in some way since 2006 and all Food Business Operators (FBOs) must guarantee their products are compliant with the regulatory limits. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is continuously updating its risk assessment to advise the EU Commission about the need for new limits and/or changes to the existing limits.  

Because the occurrence of mycotoxin contamination is very high, the job of FBOs is not easy and the costs associated with mycotoxins risk management are extensive. Mycotoxin contamination risk is very weather dependent and the EU food and feed chain knows when to increase controls and when to use technologies to decontaminate grains or other crops produced in the EU. When commodities like grains, cocoa, coffee, spices, dried fruits, or nuts are imported, however, the risk is unpredictable, and the analytical control system must be vigilant at all times.  

The scenario is changing because of climate change, and it will change even more in the next 10 to 20 years. The “fungi- and myco-geography” is changing, too, making it even more expensive for farmers and cereal traders to guarantee - at a reasonable cost - compliant raw materials for the food and feed industry.  Consumer associations and toxicologists point out that some mycotoxins are still not regulated, that some limits are too high, and that some segments of the population (children, for instance) are exposed to risky levels of certain compounds. Farmers, cereal processors, traders, and some in the food and feed industry, on the other hand, are asking for less restrictive regulations, and they oppose any proposals to strengthen existing rules.  

The EU Commission is organizing meetings to listen to the various stakeholders, but we want to promote an open debate where all interested parties can explain their positions and make their appeals.    

Affidia - The Journal of Food Diagnostics is offering a new interactive event: a webinar panel discussion between the primary stakeholders. We have invited scientists, representative of FBOs, consumers, and, of course, a representative of the EU Commission, so attendees can see a complete picture of this fast-evolving issue that is important for public health as well as for the sustainability of many industries and the incomes of hundreds of thousands of farmers.          

Agenda  
11:30 - Introductory video #1 by Affidia  
11:35 - Welcome & Opening remarks by the Chairman
11:40 - A video message by Vittorio Fattori, FAO    
11:45 - Panel #1: The introduction of harmonized Maximum Levels of natural toxins and its impact on the food chains (2000-2020).  
12:15 - Introductory video #2 by Affidia
12:30 - Panel #2: How to fully guarantee to European citizens a healthy and safe food, considering all the changes we are facing and considering we are part of a world where food security is an issue?  
13:15 - Q&A
13:30 - Closing remarks by the Chairman. 

Chairman
Prof. Roland E. Poms - Prof., PhD, IU International University of Applied Sciences   

Confirmed panelists  
Frans Verstraete - Administrator, EU Commission  
Bojan Sarkanj - Assoc. Prof., PhD Head of Department of Food Technology, University Centre Koprivnica; member of GHI (Global Harmonization Initiative)  
Marco Binaglia - Team leader Contaminants (BIOCONTAM), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)  
Rebeca Fernández - Director of Food Policy, Science and R&D, Food and Drink Europe (FDE)  
Amedeo Reyneri - Full Prof., PhD Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Turin
Alberto Mantovani - Research Director, Italian National Institute of Health (ISS); member of two EFSA working group
Alberto Ritieni -  Full Prof  Professor of food chemistry, University of Naples "Federico II" 

Other contributors  
Federica Dolce - Administrator, EU Policy Manager, Safe Food Advocacy Europe  
Vittorio Fattori - Food Safety Officer, FAO 
Sarah De Saeger - Full Prof., Ghent University   
Matthias Wolfschmidt - Director of Campaigns, Foodwatch International  
Antonella Borrometi -  Altroconsumo 
  

Who should attend?  
- Representatives of farmers  
- Quality assurance and food safety managers in the food, beverage, and feed industries  
- Traders of high-risk commodities (e.g. spices, grains, dry fruits, nuts)  
- Food safety auditors  
- Regulatory team members  
- Master’s and PhD students (who focus on food safety issues and risk management)  
- Advisors that support the food, beverage, and feed industries in managing mycotoxin risk  
- Consumer associations  
- Media companies active in the food and agricultural sector    

We hope you are interested in this topic and this event, and we invite you to take part in Affidia’s webinar on 16 December 2021, 11:30-13:30 CEST (Rome, Berlin time).    

"What if I am busy at the time of the webinar?"
If you miss the live event, visit affidiajournal.com and watch it on demand (registration is required).  

Participation fee and payment  
- Professionals: 25€  
- Students (Master’s/PhD) and those who obtained the degree less than 12 months ago: free*    
- Press: free*
All prices are in Euro and do not include VAT, which will be charged where appropriate. Private individuals: VAT 22%, whether EU or non-EU residents. Companies: VAT 22% if Italian companies; VAT not applicable if EU companies (art. 7 -ter -D.P.R. 633/72, Reverse Charge) or non-EU companies (art. 7 -ter -D.P.R. 633/72). Professionals with VAT number: same provisions as for companies.  
*must present a certificate attesting such status

The participation fee includes:  
• Access to the videos and materials before the event  
• Online participation in live event  
• Access to the recorded version of the event  
• E-Certificate for participation (please ask for it when you register)    

Payment should be made by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, and Maestro). Exceptionally, we also accept payment by bank transfer; however, the payment deadline in this case is 10 December 2021 (the registration will be completed only after the payment has been received). All bank charges and commissions are paid by the participants.                

Invoices will be sent via email as PDF attachments. To receive an invoice on behalf of a company or organization, you must state this in the registration form. If the bank transfer originates from a personal account, it is not possible to issue an invoice to a company or organization afterwards.        

Bank details for transfers in Euro (EUR)  
Recipient: Affidia Srl SB  
Recipient address :Area Science Park, Padriciano 99, 34149, Trieste, Italy  
Bank name: CREDIT AGRICOLE / FRULADRIA  
Bank address: VIA MAZZINI 7 – 34121 TRIESTE  
IBAN: IT27R0533602207000040968919  
BIC / SWIFT: BPPNIT2P171    

For any questions about the workshop, contact us at: [email protected]
To learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact us at: [email protected]  
For any query about payments or invoices, please contact us at: [email protected]