As part of the Endocrine Society’s commitment to improving public health by reducing exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), our members work with international organizations and participate in many international meetings to provide advice and guidance to regulators and policymakers worldwide.
One example is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which has worked since the 1990s to advance the testing of chemicals for effects on the endocrine system by publishing standardized test guidelines and providing other tools and resources for regulatory authorities. The Society’s EDC Advisory Group has prioritized our engagement with OECD by establishing a special Task Force charged with managing the Society’s relationship with OECD and providing guidance on their EDC-focused projects.
“Participating at the OECD meetings was a great opportunity to share how endocrine science can inform decision-makers and help them make health-protective choices.”
Projects related to EDCs are managed by several groups at OECD. This past June, Endocrine Society member and EDC expert Scott Belcher, PhD, participated in meetings of the Working Party on Hazard Assessment (WPHA) and the Expert Advisory Group on Molecular Screening and Toxicogenomics (EAGMST) at in Paris, France. During the meetings, OECD shared plans for the development of new tools and guidance to assist regulators in screening and assessing chemicals for hazardous properties, including the ability to interfere with the endocrine system. We previously weighed in on several of the guidance documents and projects discussed during the meeting. During the meeting, Belcher also contributed to discussions on these issues and other hot-button topics such as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and how to evaluate combined exposures to mixtures of chemicals. “Participating at the OECD meetings was a great opportunity to share how endocrine science can inform decision-makers and help them make health-protective choices,” Belcher says.
Belcher’s contributions as a scientist were appreciated by OECD and by representatives from various non-governmental organizations and national regulatory agencies in attendance. Participants expressed interest in continuing to work with expert members of the Endocrine Society on EDCs and potentially expanding our engagement to participate in meetings in the EU addressing other big-picture science-policy issues. The Society’s OECD Task Force will continue to lead our work with OECD and we look forward to additional opportunities to raise the profile of endocrine science around the world.