European Food Safety Authority Seeks to Address PFAS Safety Data Gaps Using NAMs

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released a call for tender offering €200,000 to EU-based researchers to undertake scientific work on EFSA’s project titled, “New Alternative Methodologies (NAMs).” The goal of the project is to promote the use of NAMs to perform comprehensive chemical risk assessment in the food and feed areas (see EFSA’s rules of procurement for more information regarding eligibility).

More specifically, the project aims to address the identified safety assessment data gaps for perfluoro- and polyfluoro-alkyl substances (PFAS), particularly those related to identified immunotoxicity concerns, using non-animal in silico and in vitro methods instead of requesting new in vivo studies.

The identified data gaps are:

  • Mode of action for the observed immunosuppression effects – in particular the reduction in the vaccination efficacy and possible increase in the susceptibility to infectious disease.
  • Immunotoxicity of PFAS, other than perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), including a possible common mode of action and potency differences.

The NAM should overcome the limitations and deficiencies of animal-based tests, which often create difficulties for risk assessors.

The deadline for applications is 11 October 2021.