Meet Sofie Theresa Thomsen as one of the Invited speakers at WEFTA 2023.

Sofie Theresa Thomsen holds a PhD in Life Science and is a researcher at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark. Part of her research focuses on quantitative health impact assessment of foods. This includes quantitative risk-benefit assessments accounting for both the impact of chemical hazards and nutrients in foods on public health. Much of her research has been surrounding fish and seafood, including a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the balance between chemical risks and nutritional risks and benefits of various seafood consumption scenarios in the Danish population. Furthermore, Sofie is involved in the Danish initiative to estimate the burden of disease of food-associated chemicals, aiming to estimate and rank the impact of chemical contaminants in food on public health such as those present in fish and seafood including methyl mercury, dioxin and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Human health risk-benefit assessment - a tool to evaluate the tradeoffs between chemical and microbiological risks and nutritional benefits of fish and seafood consumption

Fish and other seafood are important sources of nutrients that are beneficial for human health. However, fish and other seafood are also sources of chemical contaminants and pathogens that pose a risk to human health. Due to the diversity in the associated health outcomes of nutrients, chemicals, and pathogens, the evaluation of the tradeoffs between chemical and microbiological risks and nutritional benefits associated with fish consumption is complex. Quantitative human health risk-benefit assessment offers a framework to quantify and weigh health risks and benefits associated with food consumption to provide scientific evidence to inform public health policies, food safety regulations, and recommendations in food safety and nutrition. Fish and other seafood are by far the most intensively studied food group in risk-benefit assessments. This presentation will introduce the concepts of human health risk-benefit assessment and give examples of such assessments of fish and other seafood, including findings, limitations, and methodological needs. Finally, the opportunities for applying the risk-benefit assessment framework in a broader perspective also accounting for other impacts of fish and seafood consumption, such as different aspects of sustainability, will be discussed.