ILSI Europe’s Food Allergy Task Force: From Defining the Hazard to Assessing the Risk from Food Allergens

Journal of AOAC International. 2018;101(1):1-5.

The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Europe Food Allergy Task Force was founded in response to early public concerns about the growing impact of food allergies almost coincidentally with the publication of the 1995 Food and Agriculture Organization-World Health Organization Technical Consultation on Food Allergies. In line with ILSI principles aimed to foster collaboration between stakeholders to promote consensus on science-based approaches to food safety and nutrition, the task force has played a central role since then in the development of risk assessment for food allergens. This ranged from consideration of the criteria to be applied to identifying allergens of public health concern through methodologies to determine the relationship between dose and the proportion of allergic individuals reacting, as well as the nature of the observed responses. The task force also promoted the application of novel, probabilistic risk assessment methods to better delineate the impact of benchmarks, such as reference doses, and actively participated in major European food allergy projects, such as EUROPREVALL, the European Union (EU)-funded project “The prevalence, cost and basis of food allergy across Europe;” and iFAAM, “Integrated approaches to food allergen and allergy risk management,” also an EU-funded project. Over the years, the task force’s work has evolved as answers to initial questions raised further issues: Its current work program includes a review of analytical methods and how different ones can best be deployed given their strengths and limitations. Another activity, which has just commenced, aims to develop a framework for stakeholders to achieve consensus on acceptable risk.

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For more information please visit the Food Allergy Task Force webpage.