Food monitoring and control for environmental contaminants

Main Article Content

Martin Rose
Barbara Thomson
Anne-Mette Jensen
Liana Giorgi
Claudia Schulz


environmental contaminants, food safety, monitoring, harmonization


Background Environmental contaminants migrate across national borders; therefore, their release and presence in the environment cannot be fully controlled via national or regional legislation. In addition to polluting the air, rivers, the sea and soil, environmental contaminants can and often do end up in the food chain. Aims This paper characterises the environmental contaminants, describes their occurrence in food and outlines the associated economic impact. Case Studies The problem is exemplified through three groups of contaminants, namely, dioxins and polycyclic biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and trace elements. Discussion The status of the current harmonization efforts at a legislative and an analytical level is outlined, with a special focus on the situation within the European Union. Conclusion Recommendations are advanced for achieving a greater level of harmonization at an international level.

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