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12 th Annual Joint FERA/JIFSAN Symposium Maryland, June 2011. Making Decisions Despite Uncertainty: The Irish dioxin crisis 2008. Dr Wayne Anderson Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Ireland: December 2008. Dioxins and e arly c risis events Areas of uncertainty and exposure assessment

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Making Decisions Despite Uncertainty: The Irish dioxin crisis 2008


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    1. 12th Annual Joint FERA/JIFSAN Symposium Maryland, June 2011 Making Decisions Despite Uncertainty:The Irish dioxin crisis 2008 Dr Wayne Anderson Food Safety Authority of Ireland

    2. Ireland: December 2008 • Dioxins and early crisis events • Areas of uncertainty and exposure assessment • Risk communication

    3. PCDD/PCDFs • The term “dioxin” covers a group of chemically similar substances: • 75 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and • 135 polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) • 17 of toxicological concern

    4. How Did We Find It? National Residues Monitoring Programme Pesticide Control Service, DAFF

    5. Time Line 2008 November Pork fat sample taken Visit to index farm Preliminary Marker PCB result December Dutch information provided Further pig restrictions / Press statement Confirm marker PCB result Restriction of pig movement Crumb feed sample mPCB positive Dioxins confirmed High level meetings Full recall of Irish pork

    6. Decision: Sat 6th December 2008

    7. Cooperation: Pattern of dioxins (absolute) 60 Irish 1 50 Irish 2 40 Irish 3 fraction of total (%) Irish 4 30 Irish 5 Irish 6 20 Irish 7 10 0 OCDF OCDD 2,3,7,8-TCDF 2,3,7,8-TCDD 1,2,3,7,8-PeCDD 1,2,3,7,8-PeCDF 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF 1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDF 1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDF 2,3,4,6,7,8-HxCDF 1,2,3,7,8,9-HxCDF 1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDD 1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDD 1,2,3,7,8,9-HxCDD 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDF 1,2,3,4,7,8,9-HpCDF 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD Irish Samples Dutch Samples

    8. Science can help focus investigations

    9. Data summary • Same dioxin and PCB profiles in pork meat samples in IRL / NL / FR • NDL-PCBs in pork 500-3000ppb • Ratio NDL-PCBs / dioxin-TEQ waslow compared to previous incidents like Belgium • Dioxins almost exclusively PCDFs • Data suggests – Aroclor 1260 contamination (transformer oil)

    10. Main Areas of Uncertainty for Exposure • U1: Percentage of pig herd exposed to feed • U2: Time exposure to contaminated feed and pork • U3: Subsequent level of contamination in pork fat • U4: Consumption of pork and pork products in Ireland

    11. U1:Percentage of the Pig Herd 10 Pig Production Farms = 8% National Pork Output One Recycling Plant

    12. Why Recall Everything? 10 Major Processing Plants 98% Pork Output 150,000 t/year

    13. 19-Nov 26-Nov 12-Nov 13-Aug 20-Aug 27-Aug 05-Nov 01-Oct 08-Oct 15-Oct 22-Oct 29-Oct 17-Sep 24-Sep 03-Sep 10-Sep 03-Dec U2: Feed Exposure PeriodCrumb Screening Results 13 Aug – 3 Dec, 2008 Positive ++ Positive Positive-- Trace Negative

    14. 4 Exposure period 1st September to 6th December 3,5 3 2,5 2 pg/g fat 1,5 1 0,5 0 31-jul 20-aug 9-sep 29-sep 19-oct 8-nov 28-nov 18-dec U2: exposure period for PorkDioxin levels at rendering plant in Belgium

    15. U3: Dioxins Levels in Feed and Pork Fat • Crumb Product: E.U. Limit Feed 0.75pg/g • Levels detected in Feed: 5200pg/g • Pig Fat: E.U. Legal Limit 1pg/g • Levels detected: 80 – 200 pg/g

    16. U4: Pork Fat Consumption Data • Food Consumption Survey (http://www.iuna.net/) - 7 day dietary records of 958 adults, aged 18-65, from Republic of Ireland during 1997-1999 • Database containing information for each individual and each eating occasion – split into ingredients for purposes of Total Diet Study – further manipulated for the purposes of estimating exposure to lipophilic substances (i.e. POPs)

    17. 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.02 0.03 0.03 0.00 0.00 1.5 2.9 4.3 5.8 7.2 8.6 4.56 5.65 6.74 7.83 8.91 10.00 0.00 Values in 10^1 Values in 10^1 yes no 4.56 5.65 6.74 7.83 8.91 10.00 Values in 10^1 Exposure Assessment • Databases uploaded into commercial probabilistic software program Crème Food Food intakexPresence x Chemical = Exposure probabilityconcentration www.cremesoftware.com

    18. FSAI Probabilistic modelling of exposure • Total Population Intakes of Total WHO TEQ from all sources (including ingredients) assuming that 10% of the pork consumed contains a level of between 80-200 pg WHO TEQ/g fat and 90% of pork consumed contain usual background levels (as determined in previous surveys) • All other intakes are calculated based on background levels determined in previous surveys. All intake calculations are based on ranges of data and the results presented are based on a run of 300 iterations

    19. EFSA deterministic modelling of exposure

    20. EFSA Pork risk assessment • Uncertainty in exposure estimate • 10% of pork contaminated • 90 day exposure • 200pg/g dioxin • Conclusion • 10% increase in body burden • No concern to human health from this single exposure event

    21. It’s About Food Safety… Risk Assessment Risk Assessment Agreement

    22. Body Burden of Dioxins in Ireland • 2002 breast milk study, which has a mean of 11.9 pg/g fat • Assuming 60 kg body weight and 20% fat content, this gives an estimated body burden of 2.4 ng/kg over the 4 Irish populations studied • Lower than the 4ng/kg European average • 2010 breast milk study (pooled samples 109 first time mothers) • Dioxin levels down ~20% • No appreciable exposure impact of the 2008 dioxin crisis • Publication submitted to Chemisphere

    23. Communicating the message We Have Identified Contamination We Have Recalled Product We Are Isolating the Cause We Will Keep You Informed Simple

    24. It Can Sink in …… No Matter How Strong the Message…

    25. Maybe Not Simple… 385 Articles in National Press 200 Articles in Regional Press 70 Radio Programmes + phone-in’s 17 Television Programmes 200 Internet News Items 800+ Journalists Delivering the Message?

    26. Did They Deliver The Simple Message? Competition in the “news” media

    27. Advice Line Calls(3,725) Website traffic: up 4,310%

    28. But in any crisis co-operation is vital… • FERA, York • RIKILT, NL • VWA, NL • Food Standards Agency (NI and London) • European Commission • European Food Safety Authority

    29. Particular thanks to Christina Tlustos and Rhodri Evans for helping in the preparation of this talk