Commentary: Setting Aside Tradition When Dealing with Endocrine Disruptors

T. Colborn
2004 ILAR journal  
In 1996, the US Congress directed the Environmental Protection Agency to produce screens and assays to detect estrogenic and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals in food and water. To date, there are none. Years have been wasted in attempts to utilize traditional toxicological approaches to solve the problem, when in retrospect, it is now apparent that the delay in part stems from the reluctance to attack the problem with entirely new approaches. To develop new testing protocols, it is
more » ... to set aside much of the dogma of toxicology and to begin again with open minds. A few pertinent examples are provided concerning what has been overlooked and what needs to be done. In particular, it is necessary to give close attention to the selection of animal strain and diet, factors that were only loosely controlled historically when one takes into consideration what has been learned in the last decade. Vast numbers of animals have been sacrificed, and more will be sacrificed, in futile attempts to validate assays and to develop safety standards unless knowledge gained over the past decade concerning the sensitivity and complexity of the endocrine system is taken into consideration.
doi:10.1093/ilar.45.4.394 pmid:15454678 fatcat:cwdd7ggotjajjhxecfgjl4i7ii