This press release is brought to you by the EFSA.

Endocrine active substances are chemicals that can interact or interfere with normal hormonal activity; when this leads to adverse effects they are called endocrine disruptors. Following a request in 2012 from the European Commission, EFSA’s Scientific Committee has developed an opinion that clarifies the scientific criteria for identifying an endocrine disruptor. EFSA endorses the World Health Organization’s definition of an endocrine disruptor and highlights that not all endocrine active substances are endocrine disruptors. This depends on whether there is reasonable evidence that the substance can cause an adverse effect as a result of its interaction or interference with the endocrine system.

EFSA’s experts concluded that available or soon to be available internationally agreed testing methods can identify interference of chemical substances with four important endocrine pathways in mammals and fish known to be sensitive to endocrine disruption. EFSA’s opinion makes recommendations for future activities, including testing methods and testing strategies. EFSA concludes that a risk assessment approach which considers both potential adverse effects of endocrine active substances together with the likelihood of exposure makes best use of available information to regulate their use. EFSA’s scientific advice will help inform the decisions of EU risk managers to protect consumers and the environment from possible risks associated with endocrine disruptors in the food chain.

For more information regarding the EFSA opinion and the full press release please refer to the link above.