22 June 2010: SRA-E Annual Conference

Tue, 2010-06-22
King's College, London

 Following recent major food safety management issues, such as BSE in cattle and dioxin contamination, food RM has become increasingly precautionary, moving from “modern” RM to “post-modern” RM.

The EU General Food Law of 2002 has been followed by regulations on ingredients, novel ingredients, additives and supplements and horizontal regulations on consumer information and health claims. Thus recent regulatory initiatives aim at controlling health-benefit claims for supplements and fortified foods, and setting upper supplement intake limits. However, it is found that the major risk to the consumer arises from inadequate quality controls rather that potential overdose or misinformation. Specific amino acids have been used to improve sport performance, to enhance the quality of protein, improve immune functions, reduce stress, etc.
The International Council on Amino Acid Science (ICAAS) was set up to address problems such as upper limits and quality standards and to contribute to the risk governance process. ICAAS sponsored research has indicated that the major amino acids have a high margin of safety and that upper limits cannot be established using conventional risk assessment methods. The reason for this arises from a well-controlled homeostasis of amino acids in the human body, since they are not only elements of a normal diet but also make up a substantial part of human tissue. ICAAS is currently devoting attention to establishing globally applicable specification standards on amino acids used in the human food supply. The research results should contribute to the evolving risk governance in this field.

The Abstract