On December 20, 2019, the FDA released the results from the second round of testing for 16 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in foods. This testing is being conducted as part of the FDA’s Total Diet Study (TDS) which monitors levels of approximately 800 contaminants and nutrients in the average U.S. diet.
The results from the first round of testing were posted in October 2019. Those results showed that two samples, collected from ground turkey and tilapia, had detectable levels of PFOS – one of the two types of PFAS most regulation efforts have focused on. In the second round of testing, only tilapia had a detectable level of PFOS. No other PFAS were detected in either sample set. The FDA has stated that, based on the best available science, there is no indication that PFOS presents a human health concern at the levels found in these limited samples.
While EPA has been focused on other regulatory aspects of PFAS, such as potentially including them in the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and finalizing groundwater numbers, the FDA has begun including PFAS in the TDS to answer questions related to PFAS in the food chain.