In support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) “Closer to Zero” Action Plan, the agency will be cohosting a two-day virtual workshop on research in risk communication, environmental contaminants in food, and the role of nutrition as they relate to child development. Also cohosting the event is the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The goal of FDA’s “Closer to Zero” action plan is to reduce dietary exposure to toxic heavy metals—arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury—while balancing access to nutritious foods that promote health, prevent disease, and are essential for child growth and development.

The virtual workshop, titled, “Bridging The Biological And Communication Sciences On Nutrients And Environmental Contaminants In Foods To Support Child Development” will take place from 10:30 A.M.–4:30 P.M. on Thursday, February 9–Friday, February 10, 2023. Registration for the event can be accessed here.

The workshop will feature scientific sessions focused on a wide range of food toxicology and nutrition topics, including:

  • Challenges in children consuming adequate nutrients and the role of exposure to environmental contaminants from foods
  • Helping to protect children from the health effects associated with exposure to contaminants alongside the important role of nutrients from different foods groups in child development
  • Research opportunities in food, the effects of environmental exposure, and nutrients
  • Federal agencies’ current and future risk communications.

The workshop is intended to inform future related policies and facilitate science-based communication around the public health challenge of reducing children’s exposure to toxic heavy metals and environmental contaminants while ensuring adequate nutrition.