Members-Only Webinar: Closer to Zero: Action Plan for Reducing Exposure to Toxic Elements
November 4, 2021
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Conrad J. Choiniere, PhD
Director, Office of Analytics and Outreach
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
US Food and Drug Administration
The Closer to Zero plan describes the approach the FDA will take to reduce exposure to toxic elements including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury from foods for babies and young children to the lowest levels possible. FDA has prioritized reducing exposure to toxic elements from foods for babies and young children because their smaller body sizes and rapid development make them more vulnerable to the harmful effects of these toxic elements. Exposure to toxic elements from foods depends on the levels of the elements in the food and the amount of the food consumed. Nutrient exposures can also interact with these elements and the nutrient status of children can modulate their effects. The goal of the action plan is to reduce the levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury in these foods to the greatest extent possible without requiring levels that are not currently feasible and without reducing the availability of nutritious, affordable foods on which many families rely.
Closer to Zero utilizes a multi-phase, science-based, iterative approach for achieving continual improvements over time, laying out plans to further reduce the levels of toxic elements in foods. The plan includes advancing research and evaluation of changes in dietary exposures to toxic elements, setting action levels, encouraging adoption of best practices by industry, increasing targeted compliance and enforcement activities, and monitoring progress over time. Details on the Plan can be found here.
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