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Assessment of the genotoxicity of acrylamide


EFSA was requested to deliver a statement on a recent publication revisiting the evidence for genotoxicity of acrylamide (AA). The statement was prepared by a Working Group and was endorsed by the CONTAM Panel before its final approval. In interpreting the Terms of Reference, the statement considered the modes of action underlying the carcinogenicity of AA including genotoxic and non‐genotoxic effects. Relevant publications since the 2015 CONTAM Panel Opinion on AA in food were reviewed. Several new studies reported positive results on the clastogenic and mutagenic properties of AA and its active metabolite glycidamide (GA). DNA adducts of GA were induced by AA exposure in experimental animals and have also been observed in humans. In addition to the genotoxicity of AA, there is evidence for both secondary DNA oxidation via generation of reactive oxygen species and for non‐genotoxic effects which may contribute to carcinogenesis by AA. These studies extend the information assessed by the CONTAM Panel in its 2015 Opinion, and support its conclusions. That Opinion applied the margin of exposure (MOE) approach, as recommended in the EFSA Guidance for substances that are both genotoxic and carcinogenic, for risk characterisation of the neoplastic effects of AA. Based on the new data evaluated, the MOE approach is still considered appropriate, and an update of the 2015 Opinion is not required at the present time.

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