On December 8, 2017, the non-profit organization Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe published a commentary on the draft guidance document for the implementation of the EU criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the field of pesticides and biocides. The draft guidance was published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on December 7, 2017 and is open to public consultation until January 31, 2018 (FPF reported).

PAN Europe claims that the guidance document will “make it impossible identifying any substance as an ED[C] in the near future, even when there is evidence that it causes harm.” The guidance mainly addresses adverse effects mediated through interaction with estrogen, androgen, thyroid, and steroidogenic (EATS) hormones, PAN Europe explains. Thus, “chemicals will not be assessed for endocrine-related diseases of different modalities such as obesity, diabetes, cognition and behavioral dysfunction,” the organization highlights. In addition, PAN Europe notes that “even when a substance is identified to cause EATS-mediated adverse effects,” these “can be overruled if there is no evidence on the key mechanism of action, even when this is yet to be identified, understood or established.” This will give industry many opportunities to dismiss adverse effects of a substance as non-endocrine mediated and get market approval, PAN Europe concludes.

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PAN Europe (December 8, 2017). “European guidance document on endocrine disruptors doomed to fail.

Chemical Watch (December 12, 2017). “EU draft guidance makes identifying EDCs ‘impossible’, NGO says.