Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are industrial chemicals. They are widely used in industrial processes and numerous consumer products, such as paper, textiles, non-stick pans and cosmetics. PFAS are persistent and can be found in the environment, in the food chain and in human blood. In September 2020, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) re-evaluated the risk to human health from PFAS in food and established a tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 4.4 nanograms (ng) per kilogram (kg) body weight per week. Consequently,the European Commission is proposing PFAS maximum levels in foods of animal origin. BfR examined whether compliance with the proposed maximum levels is possible considering background levels of PFAS in feedstuffs. The assessment of the maximum possible PFAS levels in feedstuffs that prevent exceedance of the proposed maximum levels in foods of animal origin shows that the current analytical detection limits in feed should be significantly improved. BfR therefore recommends, as a first step, the development of more sensitive PFAS analytical methods, on which basis PFAS background levels can be estimated from feed monitoring as a pre-requisite for the derivation of maximum levels.
BfR opinion No037/2021 of 24 November 2021: https://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/pfas-maximum-levels-in-feedstuffs-bfr-recommends-improved-analytical-methods.pdf
Further information on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is available from the BfR website: https://www.bfr.bund.de/en/a-z_index/poly__and_perfluoralkyl_substances__pfas_pfc_-130146.html
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). BfR advises the German federal government and federal states on questions of food, chemical and product safety. BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.