On December 14, 2016 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a report from its scientific colloquium “Epigenetics and risk assessment: Where do we stand?”, held in June 2016 in Valencia, Spain (FPF reported).
The report summarizes the presentations and discussions held at the colloquium. It was pointed out that the currently used design of toxicology studies “may in principle allow monitoring of adverse effects resulting from epigenetic changes,” implying that there is no immediate need to incorporate epigenetics testing into hazard and risk assessment schemes. Regarding the heritability of epigenetic alterations, it was concluded that, despite the potentially high relevance of such effects for the health of future generations, at present the mechanistic understanding and the available experimental results are still rather limited, not yet allowing their translation “into action relevant to public health.” Thus, more research aimed at filling the numerous knowledge gaps is being called for, as the field of epigenetic toxicology may be expected to provide “novel testing strategies for chemical risk assessment” only once an “improved understanding” is attained.
EFSA (December 14, 2016). “EFSA Scientific Colloquium 22 – Epigenetics and risk assessment: Where do we stand?”
EFSA (2016). “EFSA Scientific Colloquium 22 – Epigenetics and risk assessment: Where do we stand?” EFSA supporting publications doi:10.2903/sp.efsa.2016.EN-1129 (pdf)