SCIENCE NEWS FLASH: ECETOC reports on a workshop jointly organised with WHO-IPCS addressing “Mode of Action‘

Brussels, June 2013

Mode of Action (MOA) is a method that identifies the important steps in understanding how exposure to a toxic chemical leads to adverse health effects and, if such effects – usually detected in experimental rodents, have human relevance.

The use of MOA as a tool to address/reduce uncertainty about extrapolating toxic effects seen in animals to humans was addressed by ECETOC in 2009 at an ECETOC/ILSI RF/HESI Workshop to exchange views on conceptual approaches to the use of MOAs.  One result of the 2009 meeting was that WHO/IPCS formed a global Steering Group, with experts from ECETOC, ECHA, EFSA, Imperial College, JRC, OECD, University of Ottawa, US EPA, ILSI/HESI and WHO, to co-ordinate implementation of an “umbrella plan‘ of work.

While MOA is now accepted as good science and a value-adding, enabling tool, there is still some reluctance to use MOA in chemical regulation.  The second ECETOC/WHO Workshop held in February 2013 explored the progress that had been made since 2009 in using MOA in chemical risk assessment and shared experiences of difficulties encountered in applying the MOA approach in the regulatory environment.  The Workshop explored some of their causes and possible solutions together with recommendations how to move forward.

A description and outcome of the MOA Workshop can be found in ECETOC Workshop Report no.26 which can be downloaded without charge from the ECETOC website.

Executive summary and download link: http://bit.ly/ecetoc-wr26

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