This report summarizes the results obtained in 2012 for the screening of various undesirable substances in the edible part of marine catches, fish meal and fish oil for feed. The newly established maximum levels for dioxins, dioxin-like PCB and non dioxin-like PCB in foodstuffs and animal feed are used to evaluate how Icelandic seafood products measure up to EC limits currently in effect.
The surveillance program began in 2003 and has now been carried out for ten consecutive years. The project fills in gaps of knowledge regarding the level of undesirable substances in economically important marine catches for Icelandic export. It is considered to be a long-term project where extension and revision is constantly necessary.
In the year 2012 emphasis was laid on gathering information on the organic compounds PFCs and inorganic trace elements in the edible part of marine catches as well as in the fish meal and fish oil for feed. Generally, the results obtained in 2012 are in agreement with previous results from the years 2003 to 2011. The results show that the Icelandic seafood products contain negligible amounts of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as dioxins, dioxin like PCBs, pesticides and PBDEs. This is the second time PFCs are analyzed in Icelandic seafood and fish products and the results show that the main PFC compound, perfluorooctane sulfone amide (PFOSA) was the only congener detected.
The results obtained the year 2012 reveal that despite of the recent change by the EC in maximum levels for dioxins, dioxin-like PCB and non dioxin-like PCB in foodstuffs all samples of seafood for human consumption were below EC maximum levels for POPs and heavy metals. Furthermore, the concentration of marker PCBs was found to be low in the edible part of fish muscle, compared to the maximum limits set by the EU (Commission Regulation 1259/2011). The results showed that the concentrations of heavy metals, e.g. cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) in Icelandic seafood products was always well below the maximum limits set by EU.
In March 2012 Commission Regulation No 277/2012, regarding maximum levels for dioxins and PCB in animal feed came into effect and after the implementation of this regulation maximum levels are now also set for non dioxin-like PCB. Despite of this change all samples of fish meal and fish oil for feed measured were below the EC maximum limits for feed components of marine origin except for one blue whiting meal sample that exceeds the maximum limits for toxaphene.
For additional information please contact Dr. Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir.