Brussels, 10 May 2005
The Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE) published in March 1999 a report on human and wildlife health effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals with emphasis on wildlife and on ecotoxicology test methods.
Due to the international concern that chemicals may interfere with the endocrine system of humans and wildlife, the Commission adopted a Community Strategy on Endocrine Disrupters in December 1999 1 . The Strategy particularly focuses on monitoring, research as well as on the review and adaptation of Community legislation 2 .
With regard to legislative measures on endocrine disrupting chemicals, the question, how to assess their human and wildlife effects appropriately is of special interest. In any case, it is a clear aim to avoid unnecessary animal testing.
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) submitted a report on a non-animal testing approach for endocrine disrupting chemicals to the Commission. The findings, conclusions and recommendations given in the report are particularly linked to directive 67/548/EEC for classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances and to the proposal for a new chemicals policy (REACH).
2. Terms of reference
The SCHER is requested to comment on the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the BUAV report. The Committee is particularly asked to express an opinion on the following specific issues
1) The proposals and recommendations given in the report for a step wise, non-animal testing approach for assessing endocrine disrupting effects in humans and wildlife.
2) The conclusions drawn in the report with regard to the limitations of certain animal test methods for Endocrine Disrupters (uterotrophic assay, Hershberger assay, pubertal male assay, amphibian metamorphosis assay, invertebrate crustacean lifecycle assays) for assessing endocrine disrupting effects in humans and wildlife.
2 http:///europa.eu.int/comm/envi ronment/en docrine/index_en.htm