Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released the results from its 26th Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS) which looked at levels of persistent organic pollutants including dioxins, dioxin-like compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in food.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the results are good news for Australians, showing exposure to these chemicals through food is low and presents no safety concerns.
“The 26th ATDS provides evidence to assure consumers they can continue to be confident that food sold in Australia is safe to eat.
“We looked at 33 foods typical of the Australian diet, taking 600 samples across all Australian states and territories.
“Our results show that while the selected chemicals are present in the environment, the levels are low and there are no food safety concerns for Australian consumers.
“The levels of these chemicals were generally lower than or comparable to those found in a previous Australian study (2004) and overseas.
“Our 26th ATDS marks a significant milestone for the study – it’s been 50 years since the first survey was conducted in 1970,” Mr Booth said.
Initially run by the National Health and Medical Research Council, FSANZ took carriage of the study in 2001.
Since then the ATDS has continued to evolve, expanding from a traditional focus on pesticide residues and contaminants to take in a wider range of food chemicals including additives, nutrients and food packaging chemicals.