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Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins
AgResearch Ltd, Ruakura Research Centre, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton, New Zealand
Ministry of Primary Industries, PO Box 2526, Wellington, New Zealand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 September 2013; in revised form: 23 October 2013 / Accepted: 30 October 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
Abstract: Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved.
Keywords: shellfish toxins; risk assessment; acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; genotoxicity; absorption and metabolism; toxicity equivalence factors
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Munday, R.; Reeve, J. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins. Toxins 2013, 5, 2109-2137.
Munday R, Reeve J. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins. Toxins. 2013; 5(11):2109-2137.
Munday, Rex; Reeve, John. 2013. "Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins." Toxins 5, no. 11: 2109-2137.