Over 140 participants attended a scientific meeting organised by EFSA to inform a wide range of stakeholders about the Authority’s work and the work of its European and international partners in the area of endocrine active substances (EAS) and endocrine disruptors (EDs). The meeting provided an occasion for EFSA to present its Scientific Committee opinion on hazard assessment of endocrine disruptors.
The presentations gave an overview of the state-of-play in the area of EAS/ED with all current on-going activities in the EU and internationally, including the various scientific aspects of this topic: terminology, criteria for identifying/characterising EAS and ED, availability of test methods, limitations and research needs. The meeting was organised in such a way as to stage the new EFSA opinion in the light of already existing work and to promote the maximum participation of interested parties. An interactive exchange of views among participants, speakers and EFSA experts and staff took place.
The meeting helped to better understand the complementary nature of the major international and European reports on EAS/ED. Discussion focused on the currently available scientific criteria for identification of EAS/EDs, the availability of data and biological knowledge of the endocrine system, as well as available test methods. There is also a general consensus on the current limitations and knowledge gaps in these areas.
The various speakers also gave clarifications on the importance of certain aspects such as weight of evidence to establish a plausible link between mode of action and adversity, the complexity of assessing multiple exposures, and the current knowledge about the existence of non-monotonic dose responses. For the latter two aspects, the participants generally agreed that these would merit follow-up activities, in line with the recommendations in EFSA’s scientific opinion.