The Endocrine Society increasingly is called to contribute to policy discussions in the U.S. and globally concerning regulation of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The Society’s goal in reaching out to regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders is to ensure that regulatory decisions involving EDCs incorporate relevant endocrine principles and are informed by modern endocrine science. In November and December Society members will participate in the following meetings:
European Commission Meeting
The European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety has been conducting an assessment to determine the potential impacts on industry, consumers, trade, agriculture, health, and the environment caused by the regulation of EDCs in the European Union. On November 6, the European Commission (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC) held a technical meeting about the screening methodology used to identify chemicals as endocrine disruptors, and how the results of the screening differ among the four regulatory options proposed in the EC roadmap on EDCs.
During the meeting Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, MD, PhD, Endocrine Society member and co-chair of the Society’s EDC Task Forces, delivered a statement on behalf of the Society. In his statement, Bourguignon argued against using potency to identify EDCs, as potency is highly variable depending on endpoint used, developmental exposure, and conditions of measurement. He also urged the JRC to consider developmental issues, in particular neurodevelopmental effects, in screening for EDCs and subsequent decision-making, and referenced the Endocrine Society’s new Scientific Statement on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals to demonstrate scientific evidence in the past five years linking EDC exposures to neurodevelopmental effects.
National Academies of Science Meeting on Low-Dose Toxicity
On November 17, the Endocrine Society participated in the second meeting of the National Academies’ ad-hoc Committee on Endocrine-Related Low Dose Toxicity. The committee was formed by the National Research Council to “develop a strategy for evaluating whether EPA’s current regulatory toxicity-testing practices allow for adequate consideration of evidence of low-dose adverse human effects that act through an endocrine-mediated pathway.” As part of the in-progress study, the committee will hold a scientific workshop to conduct case studies of systematic reviews for chemicals that affect the estrogen or androgen system. Through public comment periods, the Endocrine Society will provide input to the committee and offer to serve in a review or advisory capacity as needed.
Congressional Briefing on Low-Dose Exposures
On December 17, the Endocrine Society will partner with the Friends of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to sponsor a Congressional briefing hosted by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The briefing will provide an overview of new research funded by NIEHS and how new environmental health research, especially research on the consequences of exposures to low doses of EDCs, helps us understand disease susceptibility and impacts patient care. Endocrine Society member Shuk-Mei Ho, PhD, will be one of the speakers along with Linda Birnbaum, PhD, director of the NIEHS & the National Toxicology Program and Jennifer A. Lowry, MD, chief, Section of Medical Toxicology and medical director, Center for Environmental Health, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.
The briefing will help us educate members of Congress and their staff about Endocrine Society and NIEHS research priorities, including the importance of research on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).