The current chair of the CUSP Cluster, Alba Hernández, was an invited speaker at the 12th Global Summit on Regulatory Science (GSRS), which took place in Singapore from October 19-21, 2022. The event was dedicated to analysing the current standards, innovations, and safety of advances in nanotechnology for food and medical products. Noteworthy speakers from different organisations across the globe were featured including from the FAO, EFSA, US FDA, EU JRC, NIEHS and more, with whom Alba had the opportunity to exchange perspectives.
Her presentation was included in the session “Monitoring and characterization of Microplastics & Nanoplastics” held on October 20th and co-chaired by the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
Hernández described how the multidisciplinary team of scientists within the CUSP Cluster, together with stakeholders and policymakers, are collaborating to fill in the methodological and knowledge gaps that currently hamper micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) risk assessment in order to improve the identification and management of safety issues related to human exposure to MNPs.
More specifically, of the different CUSP priority research areas, she focused on the aims to understand the relationship between (i) the presence of MNPs in foods, (ii) the human oral exposure to MNPs, and (iii) the potential harmful health effects of MNPs on the GIT system.
“On the one hand,” Hernández explained, “this will require the development of analytical workflows for the identification and quantification of MNPs in complex food matrices, and for the obtention of human internal and external oral exposure estimates. On the other hand, this will require the generation of true-to-life MNPs from food contact materials and the development of front-end models of the gastrointestinal system. These will be used to study fate and bioaccumulation, and for a comprehensive assessment of the potential MNP-induced effects.”
The GSRS is organised by the Global Coalition for Regulatory Science Research, which is dedicated to defining the role of global research collaborations in advancing regulatory science and its impact on public health, exploring the future of regulatory science research as a tool for advancing in food safety and medical products, and developing strategies for training regulatory scientists in a global setting.
GSRS (October 2022). “12th Global Summit on Regulatory Science.”