ECETOC strategic science areas at Eurotox annual meetings

On the occasion of the annual Eurotox meeting in Rhodes 5-8 October 2008, ECETOC organised two sessions corresponding to two priority science areas: and Science in Society

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On the occasion of the annual Eurotox meeting in Rhodes 5-8 October 2008, ECETOC organised two sessions corresponding to two priority science areas: and Science in Society.

The “Intelligent Testing Strategies’ symposium was chaired by Guiseppe Malinverno of Solvay and Watze de Wolf of DuPont de Nemours, both members of ECETOC’s Scientific Committee. Four speakers presented their views on critical issues related to the implementation of REACH:

  • Evelin Fabjan (on behalf of Jack de Bruijn), ECHA: Introduction to REACH & intelligent testing strategies
  • Inge Mangelsdorf, Fraunhofer ITEM: Animal testing information and development/use of quality assured databases
  • Bob Safford, Unilever: Concept of thresholds of toxicological concern
  • Dinant Kroese, TNO: Feasibility of non-testing approaches in human health assessments

This session was attended by ca. 300 participants from the Eurotox meeting. Feedback from the audience was overall positive, including from the newly appointed scientific advisor to the board of ECHA who actively participated in the ensuing discussion. Although the content of the presentations provided nothing new to those closely involved with REACH, it was mostly unknown to the majority of the academics in the audience, and, thus, gave them an insight into the challenges with REACH.

The session on “Science in Society’ was chaired by ECETOC’s Secretary General and Prof. Corrado Galli, outgoing president of EUROTOX. Based on the fact that allegations are frequently made that the outcome of research is impacted by its source of funding, the invited speakers had been selected such that they would represent industry, governmental and academic organisations. They spoke about the importance of scientific rigour in research and avoiding conflict of interest:

  • Lord Taverne, UK House of Lords: Keynote speech on science in society, increasing public confidence in the science of evaluating safety.
  • Chris Money, ExxonMobil and member of ECETOC’s Scientific Committee (on behalf of Matti Jantunen, KTL, because of travel problems): Science in society and the Cefic Long-range Research Initiative.
  • Russell Thomas, Hamner Institute: The history and achievements of CIIT.
  • Jim Bridges, University of Surrey: Advising government on health risks: Avoiding bias and conflict of interest.
  • Ursula Gundert-Remy, BfR: Integration and interpretation of information from different sources for decision and policy making.

Considering the interest raised, the high attendance and the engaged debate during the final panel discussion, it was suggested to hold a similar session at a future Eurotox meeting.