Finnish Food Safety Authority

Helsinki, Finland

Finnish Food Safety Authority

Helsinki, Finland
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.3-05 | Award Amount: 1.21M | Year: 2010

This European surveillance network for influenza in pigs (ESNIP) 3 will maintain and expand surveillance networks established during previous EC concerted actions (ESNIP 1, QLK2-CT-2000-01636; ESNIP 2, SSPE-022749). Three work packages (WP 2, 3, 4) aim to increase the knowledge of the epidemiology and evolution of swine influenza (SI) virus (SIV) in European pigs through organised field surveillance programmes (WP2). Virus strains detected in these programmes will be subjected to detailed characterisation both antigenically (WP3) and genetically (WP4) using standardised methodology. Specifically this will involve timely information on genomic data and generation of antigenic maps using the latest technology. These analyses will provide significant and timely added value to knowledge of SIV. A strong focus will be monitoring spread and independent evolution of pandemic H1N1 2009 virus in pigs. All these data will in turn be used to improve the diagnosis of SI by updating the reagents used in the recommended techniques (WP2). The virus bank and electronic database that were established during ESNIPs 1 and 2 will also be expanded and formally curated with relevant SIV isolates and information for global dissemination within and outwith the consortium (WP5). ESNIP 3 represents the only organised surveillance network for influenza in pigs and seeks to strengthen formal interactions with human and avian surveillance networks previously established in ESNIP 2. A timely and transparent interaction with these networks will be a key output. These approaches are entirely consistent with improved pandemic preparedness and planning for human influenza whilst providing an evidence base for decisions in relation to veterinary health. The project consortium consists of 24 participants, which contribute a blend of different specialisms and skills ensuring multi-disciplinary cutting-edge outputs. The vast majority of the partners are actively working with SIV including in a field setting. Twenty-one participants are from 11 EU member states, seven of which were actively involved in ESNIP 2. Co-operation with partners in China and North America will continue to promote a greater understanding of the epidemiology of SIVs at a global level.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-4-02 | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2010

Plant food supplements, or botanicals, have high acceptance by European consumers. Potentially, they can deliver significant health benefits, safely, and at relatively low costs. New regulations and EFSA guidance are also now in. However, concerns about safety, quality and efficacy of these products remain, and bottle-necks in risk and benefit assessments need to be solved. PlantLIBRA (PLANT food supplements: Levels of Intake, Benefit and Risk Assessment) aims to foster the safe use of food supplements containing plants or herbal extracts, by increasing science-based decision-making by regulators and food chain operators. To make informed decisions, competent authorities and food businesses need more quality-assured and accessible information and better tools (e.g., metadatabanks). PlantLIBRA is structured to develop, validate and disseminate data and methodologies for risk and benefit assessment and implement sustainable international cooperation. International cooperation, on-spot and in-language capacity building are necessary to ensure the quality of the plants imported in the EU. PlantLibra spans 4 continents and 23 partners, comprising leading academics, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, industry and non-profit organizations. Through its partners it exploits the databases and methodologies of two Network of Excellences, EuroFIR and Moniqa. Plantlibra will also fill the gap in intake data by conducting harmonized field surveys in the regions of the EU and apply consumer sciences to botanicals. Existing composition and safety data will be collated into a meta-databank and new analytical data and methods will be generated. The overarching aim is to integrate diverse scientific expertise into a single science of botanicals. PlantLIBRA works closely with EFSA since several PlantLIBRA partners or experts are involved in the relevant EFSA Working Groups, and also plans shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation with competent authorities and stakeholders.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.4-02 | Award Amount: 7.58M | Year: 2012

Total Diet Studies (TDS) allow getting information on real dietary exposure to food contaminants consumption (heavy metals, mycotoxins, POPs...) and estimating chronic exposure to pesticide residues in food and food additives intake. TDS consider total exposure from whole diets and are based on food contamination as consumed rather than contamination from raw commodities, thus ensuring a realistic exposure measure. TDS facilitate risk assessment (RA) and health monitoring (HM). Some EU Member States (MS) and Candidate Countries (CC) have no TDS programme or use various methods to collect data, which were not examined yet to tell whether they are comparable or not. This is of interest for EFSA or WHO-FAO. Similarly it is important to harmonise methods to assess dietary exposure risks in MS, CC and at the European level compared with other world regions. The methods proposed will aim for food sampling, standard analytical procedures, exposure assessment modelling, priority foods and selected chemical contaminants consistency across MS and CC. Various approaches and methods to identify sampling and analyses will be assessed and best practice defined. Contaminants and foods which contribute most to total exposure in European populations will be defined. Priority will be given to training and support in EU MS and CC currently without TDS. It will demonstrate best practice in creating a TDS programme using harmonised methods in regions previously lacking TDS, and ensure consistency of data collected. A database will be set up describing existing EU studies and collating harmonised exposure measures and designed to allow risk assessors and managers handling dietary exposure more accurately and more specifically. TDSEXPOSURE will spread excellence in TDS throughout stakeholders and establish a legacy of harmonised methods for sampling and analysis, and science-based recommendations for future global studies.

News Article | December 3, 2015

In 2013, the European Commission restricted the use of neonicotinoid products, banning them in the seed treatment of crops favoured by bees, such as oilseed and turnip rape. Neonicotinoids are neurotoxins used as active ingredients in pesticides. The decision was based on the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) risk assessment, according to which neonicotinoid use on crops attractive to bees is harmful to bees and other pollinators. Finland objected to the Commission's decision. Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira launched the Neomehi project to examine the impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees in the cultivation of spring oilseed crops. The suspected risks of their detrimental effects were observed in more southerly farming conditions. The research conducted in Finland yielded different results from the studies on which the Commission based its decision. "Neonicotinoid seed treatment seems to have no immediate impact on bee survival in Finland," says Luke researcher Jarmo Ketola, who headed the soon-to-be-completed project. The Neomehi project studied the impact of seed treatments of turnip rape on bees under field conditions during the growing and winter seasons. Neonicotinoid spraying was performed on part of the trial fields in both summers when the plants were in flower. Crop growth and the numbers of flying pollinators were monitored, and the success of test bee hives was assessed. Additionally, residues in plants, bees, pollen and nectar were analysed. The results show that residues of neonicotinoids migrate to bee hives in pollen and nectar. "The residue levels in the samples collected from the hives were so low that acute harm to bees is unlikely. However, risks associated with reproduction and orientation behaviour cannot be ruled out," says Evira senior researcher Kati Hakala. Entrepreneur Lauri Ruottinen, who provided bee care research services for the project, agrees. "Neonicotinoid treatments did not cause acute harm to bee hives during the study. The trial design does not, however, eliminate other factors that may cause changes in the number of adult bees," he notes. There are currently no alternatives to neonicotinoids. Small beetles, such as flea beetles, interfere with the growth of oilseed and turnip rape seedlings in the spring, and can lower the quality and quantity of the crop. In Finland, it is feared that the pesticide ban will affect the crop certainty of oilseed plants and reduce farmers' willingness to grow them. "This would jeopardise the use of oilseed and turnip rape as domestic raw material in vegetable oil, food and fuel, and as a source of protein in farm animal feed. Flowering oilseed and turnip rape are also important food sources for bees, and if their cultivation is reduced, so will the benefits of crop rotation," explains researcher Jarmo Ketola. The area under oilseed crops has decreased in recent years, but not dramatically, since the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has granted special authorisation for the use of seed treatment products both last year and this year. Special authorisation has also been granted for 2016. EFSA is currently analysing new research data on the use of neonicotinoid products. It is not yet known when the European Commission will review its 2013 decision to restrict the use of these products. Explore further: Sussex bee scientists question value of neonics ban

News Article | November 24, 2016

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland has detected H5 bird flu in wild birds in Aland islands, Baltic Sea, Finnish Food Safety Authority said on Thursday.

Ketola R.A.,University of Helsinki | Hakala K.S.,Finnish Food Safety Authority
Current Drug Metabolism | Year: 2010

Glucuronidation is one of the main phase II metabolic reactions in humans and animals. A variety of analytical techniques and methods have been used for the detection and quantification of glucuronides of both endogenous and xenobiotic compounds from different biological samples of humans and animals. Drug metabolism has been extensively studied with both in vitro and in vivo experiments under various conditions. The purpose of this review is to explore in detail the benefits and drawbacks of different liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric (LC/MS) methods and techniques in detection and identification of all forms of glucuronide conjugates from in vitro, biological, and environmental samples. The entire analytical procedure is covered, from sample treatment, separation, and ionization to qualitative and quantitative analyses. The aim of this review is not to cover every published paper where glucuronides are identified and/or quantified, but rather to focus on special cases where a new analytical approach or technical development has led to a better, more specific, or more comprehensive detection, identification, or quantitation of glucuronide conjugates. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Jokelainen P.,University of Helsinki | Nylund M.,Finnish Food Safety Authority
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2012

Toxoplasma gondii parasites belonging to endemic genotype II caused fatal infection in three (16%) of 19 Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) sent for necropsy in Finland between May 2006 and April 2009. The liver, spleen, and lungs were the organs most affected in all three cases, and high numbers of T. gondii parasites were visualized immunohistochemically in all the tissue samples available from them. The genotyping of the parasite strains was based on the results of analysis of length polymorphism at six microsatellite markers (B18, TUB2, TgM-A, W35, B17, and M33). The length of the PCR product at the additional seventh marker (M48) was 233 base pairs from the first two cases that were found dead together, suggesting a common infection source, and 215 base pairs from the third. Eurasian red squirrels may be exceptionally susceptible to T. gondii infection. © Wildlife Disease Association 2012.

Kokkonen M.,Finnish Food Safety Authority | Jestoi M.,Finnish Food Safety Authority
Journal of Separation Science | Year: 2010

A simple and rapid method for determining six ergot alkaloids and four of their respective epimers was developed for rye and wheat. The analytes were extracted from the sample matrix with ACN/ammonium carbonate solution. The extract was purified with a commercial push-through SPE column (Mycosep® 150 Ergot). After concentration and filtration steps, the final separation of the analytes was achieved with ultra-performance LC-MS/MS. The chromatographic separation of the ergot alkaloids was achieved in 4.5 min. The method performance proved satisfactory in the preliminary validation. The calculated LOQs were low ranging from 0.01 to 1.0 μg/kg for wheat and from 0.01 to 10.0 μg/kg for rye. At the concentration levels of 10, 50 and 200 μg/kg, the recoveries were between 80 and 120% in most cases and the within-day repeatability (expressed as RSD) ranged between 1.3 and 13.9%. Despite the cleanup of the samples, some matrix effect was observed in the MS, highlighting the necessity of using matrix-assisted standards. This is the first article to describe the application of the push-through columns and ultra-performance LC in the analysis of ergot alkaloids. © 2010 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

Suominen K.,Finnish Food Safety Authority | Verta M.,Finnish Environment Institute | Marttinen S.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

The end products (digestate, solid fraction of the digestate, liquid fraction of the digestate) of ten biogas production lines in Finland were analyzed for ten hazardous organic compounds or compound groups: polychlorinated dibenzo- p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB(7)), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH(16)), bis-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), perfluorinated alkyl compounds (PFCs), linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LASs), nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP. +. NPEOs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA). Biogas plant feedstocks were divided into six groups: municipal sewage sludge, municipal biowaste, fat, food industry by-products, animal manure and others (consisting of milling by-products (husk) and raw former foodstuffs of animal origin from the retail trade). There was no clear connection between the origin of the feedstocks of a plant and the concentrations of hazardous organic compounds in the digestate. For PCDD/Fs and for DEHP, the median soil burden of the compound after a single addition of digestate was similar to the annual atmospheric deposition of the compound or compound group in Finland or other Nordic countries. For PFCs, the median soil burden was somewhat lower than the atmospheric deposition in Finland or Sweden. For NP. +. NPEOs, the soil burden was somewhat higher than the atmospheric deposition in Denmark. The median soil burden of PBDEs was 400 to 1000 times higher than the PBDE air deposition in Finland or in Sweden. With PBDEs, PFCs and HBCD, the impact of the use of end products should be a focus of further research. Highly persistent compounds, such as PBDE- and PFC-compounds may accumulate in agricultural soil after repeated use of organic fertilizers containing these compounds. For other compounds included in this study, agricultural use of biogas plant end products is unlikely to cause risk to food safety in Finland. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Koivisto P.,Finnish Food Safety Authority | Peltonen K.,Finnish Food Safety Authority
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

DNA or protein adducts are reaction products of endogenous or exogenous chemicals and cellular macromolecules. Adducts are useful in toxicological studies and/ or human biomonitoring exercises. In particular, DNA damage provides invaluable information for risk analysis. Second, metabolites or conjugates can be regarded as markers of phase II reactions though they may not give accurate information about the levels of reactive and damage-provoking reactive compounds or intermediates. Electrophiles are often short-lived molecules and therefore difficult to monitor. In contrast, adducts are often chemically stable, though their levels in biological samples are low, which makes their detection challenging. The assay of adducts is similar to the analysis of any other trace organic molecule, i.e. problems with the matrix and small amounts of analytes in samples. The 32P-postlabelling assay is a specific method for DNA adducts but immunochemical and fluorescence-based methods have been developed which can detect adducts linked to both DNA and protein. Tandem mass spectrometry, particularly if combined with ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography, is currently the recommended detection technique; however investigators are striving to develop novel ways to achieve greater sensitivity. Standards are a prerequisite in adduct analysis, but unfortunately they are seldom commercially available. © Springer-Verlag 2010.

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