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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: DIOXINS AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS IN FOOD

Location: Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research

Project Number: 5442-32000-011-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 08, 2006
End Date: Feb 07, 2011

Objective:
In order to reduce exposure to dioxins and other environmental contaminants from the food supply, four objectives have been outlined for this research project. 1) Develop inexpensive, rapid, sensitive, assays or improved diagnostic tools to screen samples for dioxins, pesticides, chemical residues, and other environmental contaminants. 2) Investigate sources which contribute to levels of these contaminants in food animals and identify intervention strategies that may reduce the levels. 3) Investigate the uptake, metabolism, distribution, excretion, and fate after excretion of environmental contaminants in animal systems. 4) Update data on levels of dioxins and related compounds in the domestic food supply to provide Food Safety agencies with an adequate profile of the situation and confirm the safety, security, and competitiveness of U.S. foods and food supply.

Approach:
New tools, such as antibody-based or receptor-based assays, that make analyses cheaper and less time consuming, will be developed to facilitate monitoring of targeted chemicals in the food supply. Sources that contribute to livestock exposure throughout the production process will be investigated and cataloged. Once identified these sources may be eliminated or avoided in farming practices in order to prevent or minimize entrance into the food chain. Basic research to determine pharmacokinetic parameters for these pollutants in laboratory and farm animals will be investigated through animal feeding studies. These data will be used to calculate withdrawal intervals, evaluate source attribution, and elucidate strategies to decrease contaminant levels in food animals. In addition to pharmacokinetic parameters, studies on the fate of a chemical dosed to an animal can provide knowledge of basic biological mechanisms that may be exploited to reduce uptake, increase excretion, or enhance degradation of these contaminants, thereby, lowering levels found in animal food products and the environment. Surveys of the general food supply (especially meat and poultry) will be conducted to provide typical levels of these compounds in U.S. foods.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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