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EFSA proposes default values for risk assessments

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed a set of harmonised default values to be used in risk assessments when insufficient or no actual measured data exist. Default values are already used where uncertainties exist, such as extrapolating results of animal toxicity studies on pesticides to human populations. The EFSA’s new guidance focuses on the most commonly used ones, such as body weight, total liquid intake and factors for converting chemical concentrations in feed or drinking water to doses utilised in toxicity experiments. Calculations for acceptable daily intakes currently use an average adult body weight worldwide of 60 kg, but the EFSA says that 70 kg is a “more realistic” average for EU adults.

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