In an article published on May 11, 2017 regulatory news provider Chemical Watch reported on a case study investigating how four natural substances would be classified according to the different options for criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) as laid out in the European Commission’s (EC) EDC roadmap (FPF reported). The case study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Toxicology and Health, conducted by Ulrike Schuhmacher-Wolz and colleagues from German consultancy Research and Advisory Institute for Hazardous Substances (FoBiG), and sponsored by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA). The researchers applied the EC’s four different options for EDC criteria, as well as an industry proposal using a weight-of-evidence approach, to the substances genistein (CAS 446-72-0), caffeine (CAS 58-08-2), vitamin D3 (CAS 67-97-0), and sucrose (CAS 57-50-1).

“The outcome of this screening approach reveals that substances for which safe use in humans is known from decades of experience might possibly be classified as endocrine disruptors with yet unknown regulatory consequences,” Schuhmacher-Wolz and colleagues concluded. This might “frighten and unsettle consumers,” and thus more case studies are needed “to understand the practical consequences of any set of criteria for regulating substances with ED properties,” they noted. The authors further suggested that “potency considerations might be helpful for the evaluation of endocrine active substances as potency aspects might help to range effects observed in relation to the potency of natural hormones.”

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Chemical Watch (May 11, 2017). “Cefic/ECPA test Commission’s EDC criteria on natural substances.


Schuhmacher-Wolz, U. et al. (2017). “Case study with natural substances on the various options to identify and categorize endocrine disruptors.Journal of Toxicology and Health 4:2.