Complacency and Regulation of Aluminium in Food Chris Exley, Keele University 15 September 2010 In spite of the clear results and recommendations of our study the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK has not made any official comment regarding our findings. The Food Safety Act of 2007 (updated in 2008) specifically states under article 5 that infant formulas should not contain anything which might 'endanger the health of infants and young children'. The Chief Scientist at the FSA, Andrew Wadge, responding to my enquiry on his blog has said that the aluminium content of most infant formulas are within the tolerable weekly limit (TWI) of 1 mg/kg body weight, set by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives,20-29 June 2006, Rome. He concedes that there are no regulatory requirements for aluminium in food. He does not mention that the TWI set by the aforementioned committee is for adults and that this committee concede that the value they have given is simply a best guess. It is not based upon any human studies,adults or children, only laboratory studies on rats and mice. The committee admits that even these sources of information are incomplete. We carried out and published our investigation of the aluminium content of infant formulas because of our concern for the welfare of infants. We did our best to produce a balanced and non-sensationalised account of the problem and we made some suggestions as to what might happen next. It is clear from the defensive nature of the very few responses from the industry that they do not accept that there is a problem and it would seem that they have the support of the regulatory authority in the UK (FSA) and Europe (EFSA). We are a world-leading authority on human exposure to aluminium and the consequences for human health and we believe that something has to be done about the aluminium content of infant formulas and, indeed, the aluminium content of food in general. Why is the aluminium content of food not regulated? Why are regulatory authorities such as the FSA using TWIs for aluminium which have little scientific value and absolutely no value with respect to human consumption? It is clear to us that both the manufacturers of infant formulas and the regulatory authorities are hoping that by remaining silent on this issue that it will very quickly become a non-issue. Are we content to continue to feed our preterm and term infants with high levels of aluminium? Will we have to wait another 20 years for another study to show that the aluminium content of infant formulas are still too high? Competing interests None but my curiosity for aluminium and its role in biological systems.