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Comparing carcinogenicity and acute toxicity for ingestion of the promoting agent okadaic acid

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Okadaic acid (OA) is a promoting agent present in mussels and other shellfish. While denatured by cooking, ingestion of raw mussels can lead to intakes of OA. To date, countries such as France have relied on measures of acute toxicity in regulating residual concentrations of OA in mussels. Recently, the French Government has moved to consider the carcinogenic risk from OA in mussels to ensure that regulations based on acute toxicity are not allowing concentrations of OA that might induce significant risks of cancer. This paper explores the carcinogenic risk posed by ingestion of OA, using a model of the biokinetics of OA following ingestion and a model of the promoting effects of OA. Within the carcinogenicity model, OA alters the balance between rates of cell mitosis and death, allowing selective expanasion of colonies of cells initiated by background events. Results of this preliminary, conservative, study indicate that current regulations based on acute toxicity probably are protective of public health, including protection against the risk of cancer.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-07-01

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