The public consultation invites interested parties to submit their comments by 1 August 2022, in response to plans to reduce the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for the micronutrient from 0.15 mg/kg of body weight (bw) to 0.07 mg/kg bw.
For the first time, the draft opinion takes into account consumer exposure to total copper from all sources in the diet
The Authority says that while general population exposure does not exceed this ADI, uncertainties may be underestimated for some subpopulations of regular consumers of foods with higher copper content.
These populations include younger age groups that would exceed the new ADI. However, experts conclude that this would not pose a lifetime risk for copper toxicity and thus is not a health concern.
Copper in liver
EFSA adds that young children need more copper for development and use it at a higher rate than adults. Therefore, copper is less likely to be retained in a child’s liver.
Copper is considered an essential micronutrient for all living beings. Too much or too little copper in the diet can lead to health problems.
It is naturally present in many foods and also enters the food chain through its use in organic and conventional pesticides, feed and food additives, and as a nutrient in fortified foods and food supplements.
“EFSA’s Scientific Committee was asked to review the ADI for copper used in the various sectors across EFSA’s work in line with our 2021 approach for setting health-based guidance values,” the Authority states.
“These values include an ADI, for substances which are both nutrients and regulated products. The new ADI is derived from the retention of copper in the liver by adults.”
To have your say, visit EFSA’s online Public Consultation page.