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The impact of veterinary drug residues on the gut microbiome and human health

A food safety perspective












FAO. 2023. The impact of veterinary drug residues on the gut microbiome and human health – A food safety perspective. Food Safety and Quality Series, No. 20. Rome.




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    The impact of pesticide residues on the gut microbiome and human health
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    With a food safety focus, a scientific literature review was conducted to characterize the current understanding about the effects of pesticide residues on the human gut microbiome and potential implications on human health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The main aspects analysed are (1) effects of individual or combined pesticides on the composition, diversity and function of gut microbiome using in vivo or in vitro models; (2) health implications resulting from the pesticide-microbiome interactions and underlying mechanisms; (3) establishment of causality; and (4) influence of the gut microbiome on the metabolism and bioavailability of pesticides. The research was also scoped to identify current gaps, limitations and needs for the eventual consideration of microbiome-related data in chemical risk assessment. With this work, ESF contributes to the FAO global programme on the impact of food systems on NCDs and obesity, by understanding the potential health implications of gut microbiome-pesticide interactions. The outcomes will provide information which can be used to improve nutritional strategies and food safety policies.
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    The impact of microplastics on the gut microbiome and health
    A food safety perspective
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    With a food safety focus, a scientific literature review was conducted to characterize the current understanding about the effects of microplastics on the gut microbiome and potential health implications. The main aspects analysed are (1) the effects of microplastics on the composition, diversity and function of gut microbiome using in vito and in vivo models; (2) health implications resulting from the microplastic–microbiome interactions and underlying mechanisms; (3) the establishment of causality; and (4) influence of the gut microbiome on microplastic biodegradation. The research was also scoped to identify current gaps, limitations and needs for the eventual consideration of microbiome-related data in chemical risk assessment. With this work, ESF contributes to the FAO global programme on the impact of food systems on NCDs and obesity, by understanding the potential health implications of gut microbiome–microplastic interactions. The outcomes will provide information which can be used to improve food safety policies.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Evaluation of certain veterinary drug residues in food: ninety-fourth report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives
    WHO Technical Report Series, no. 1041
    2022
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    This report represents the conclusions of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee convened to evaluate the safety of residues of certain veterinary drugs in food and to recommend maximum levels for such residues in food. The first part of the report considers general principles regarding the evaluation of residues of veterinary drugs within the terms of reference of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). It covers topics such as the parallel review process; estimation of dietary exposure to veterinary drug residues; a risk-based decision tree approach for safety evaluation; assessment of the potential effects of residues on the human intestinal microbiome. Summaries follow the Committee’s evaluations of toxicological and residue data on a variety of veterinary drugs: two antiparasitic agents (imidacloprid, ivermectin) and one coccidiostat (nicarbazin). Additionally, further evaluation of the parasiticide selamectin is included as part of a pilot in support of the proposed parallel review process. Annexed to the report is a summary of the Committee’s recommendations on these drugs, including acceptable daily intakes and proposed maximum residue limits.

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