Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth says the results of the 25th Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS), released today, again demonstrate the safety of the Australian food supply.
Mr Booth said 88 foods were tested for 226 agricultural and veterinary chemicals and four metals: arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
“The levels of agricultural and veterinary chemicals were generally very low, with a majority of samples having no detectable residues,” Mr Booth said.
“Estimated dietary exposures for all but one chemical were below the relevant acceptable daily intakes (ADIs), indicating no public health and safety concerns,” Mr Booth said.
“Estimated dietary exposure to the insecticide prothiofos exceeded the ADI for some population age groups. FSANZ informed the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) which subsequently worked with industry who voluntarily changed the way prothiofos is used to ensure that risks for Australian consumers are acceptably low.
“For metal contaminants, all detections were below the maximum levels set in the Food Standards Code and are consistent with international levels.
“Estimated dietary exposure to methylmercury (through the consumption of fish) exceeded the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) for children aged 2 to 5 years. The risks in this case are balanced by the known benefits of fish consumption. FSANZ has published consumer advice to manage dietary exposure to mercury while highlighting the health benefits.”