EU Experts Identify Eight Emerging Risks in Recent Report

by Ella

European authorities have highlighted eight emerging risks, including Shiga toxin-producing E. albertii and children experiencing Vitamin D overdoses, according to a recent report issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

In 2021, a total of 18 potential emerging issues were deliberated upon, with eight of them being categorized as emerging risks. The EFSA engaged various networks and stakeholders in the discussion, including the Emerging Risks Exchange Network (EREN), the Stakeholder Discussion Group on Emerging Risks, as well as EFSA’s scientific units, panels, and the Scientific Committee.


Consumer trends were identified as a driving factor in four of the discussed issues, with six categorized as microbiological hazards and four as chemical risks.


Among the identified emerging risks was the use of vitamin D in health supplements. French health authorities were alerted to numerous cases of severe hypercalcemia and hospitalizations in otherwise healthy infants who had consumed vitamin D in the form of food supplements. Reports indicate that between 2019 and 2020, Poison Control Centers received calls for at least 23 overdoses linked to vitamin D-containing supplements for children. In 2020, two serious cases of vitamin D poisoning from supplements purchased online were reported to ANSES. In 2021, a pediatric hospital reported another case of extreme hypercalcemia. Countries were advised to collaborate with national pediatricians to monitor and address any trends related to infants overdosing on vitamin D.


Another emerging risk addressed in the report was the presence of Shiga toxin-producing E. albertii. While the natural reservoir of this pathogen remains unclear, acquiring such information is crucial to understand transmission dynamics and prevent infections. Countries were urged to gather data on incidence, human prevalence, and risk exposure pathways to better assess this hazard.


The report also highlighted the potential health risks associated with coconut oil. Experts emphasized the need for further research to bolster the evidence base concerning its potential toxicity. Countries were encouraged to examine national data to determine if an increasing trend in coconut oil consumption could be substantiated.

Additionally, the report mentioned the presence of Brevetoxins in French shellfish, marine biotoxins responsible for neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. These toxins are not currently regulated in Europe, prompting scientists to recommend increased monitoring of Brevetoxins in European waters.

The Emerging Risks Exchange Network (EREN) comprises the 27 EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, and observers from esteemed organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Throughout 2021, EREN members extensively discussed 35 signals and potential emerging issues stemming from their own horizon-scanning activities. Noteworthy topics that did not escalate to emerging risks included the underestimation of human arcobacter infections, the risks of non-experts fermenting foods at home, potential poisoning from Asian morel mushrooms, and food supplements containing coumarin. Other issues under monitoring included the increased consumption of crocodile meat, a surge in intoxications linked to the mushroom Chlorophyllum molybdites in Italy, the presence of synthetic cannabinoids in food, and human Bocavirus in shellfish.

Furthermore, in New Zealand, the Emerging Risk Identification System (ERIS) recorded 57 issues in the emerging risk register, encompassing concerns such as microplastics and nanoplastics in food, Salmonella in finfish, and new limits for chlorate in milk.



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023