On May 4, 2016 the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) released a final report from the international workshop on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), held in April 2016 in Berlin, Germany (FPF reported). This report features a consensus statement on the scientific principles for the identification of EDCs, a subject of considerable controversy in focus of recent discussions (FPF reported). Although some of the invited experts earlier represented opposing sides in the EDCs debate, at the meeting they agreed on the final statement that the potency threshold should not be applied in the identification of EDCs.

A number of non-governmental organizations working for protection of consumer health and environment, including the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec), Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), and CHEM Trust, welcomed the release of the EDCs consensus statement, calling it a “breakthrough” and an “end of discussion when it comes to identification of EDCs.” Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist, notes that the European Commission (EC) has no further excuse for delaying the publication of long-awaited EDC criteria (FPF reported), since the now-reached scientific consensus is supported even by those scientists who had been opposing it before.

Considerably less enthusiasm towards the new consensus statement is shown by some industry representatives, as Emma Davies discusses in her article in Chemical Watch. The spokesman of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) maintains that not considering potency when identifying an EDC “would be unscientific.”

The publication of EDC identification criteria by the EC is expected “before summer” 2016 (FPF reported).

Read more

BfR (May 4, 2016). “BfR veröffentlicht Workshopbericht des Expertentreffens zu endokrinen Disruptoren.(pdf)

ChemSec (May 4, 2016). “End of discussion: potency should not be part of EDC criteria.

CHEM Trust (May 4, 2016). “After a long wait, now is the time for the EU to decide on criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (updated 4th May).

Emma Davies (May 4, 2016). “Official EDCs statement confirms potency ‘not relevant’ for ID.Chemical Watch

HEAL (May 5, 2016). “HEAL responds to BFR breakthrough on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.


Solecki, R. et al. (May 4, 2016). “Scientific principles for the identification of endocrine disrupting chemicals – a consensus statement.BfR (pdf)