Bias Detection: Study Identifies Instruments for Evaluating Animal Studies. No good scientist wants to produce, or be accused of producing, a poorly conducted study. Even so, toxicologists conducting animal studies are not widely expected to document the steps they take to ensure internal validity—that is, to prevent their results from being skewed due to a methodological issue (a concept known as risk of bias).
Data Gaps in Toxicity Testing of Chemicals Allowed in Food in the United States. Even though feeding toxicology studies provide the most relevant information about the safety of food additives, less than 38% of FDA-regulated additives have a published feeding study. For chemicals directly added to food, only 21.6% have feeding studies necessary to estimate a safe level of exposure and 6.7% have reproductive or developmental toxicity data in FDA’s database.
Conflicts of Interest in Approvals of Additives to Food Determined to Be Generally Recognized as Safe: Out of Balance. For the 451 GRAS notifications, 22.4% of the safety assessments were made by an employee of an additive manufacturer, 13.3% by an employee of a consulting firm selected by the manufacturer, and 64.3% by an expert panel selected by either a consulting firm or the manufacturer. A standing expert panel selected by a third party made none of these safety assessments.
Science and policy on endocrine disrupters must not be mixed: a reply to a “common sense” intervention by toxicology journal editors. “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” Quoting Einstein, a group of researchers investigating endocrine disruption give a cheerful savaging to a recent letter by editors of 14 toxicology journals, accusing EU regulations of “ignor[ing] scientific evidence and well-established principles of chemical risk assessment”.
Transparency and translation of science in a modern world. The co-Editors-in-Chief of Environmental Health respond to an unusual initiative taken by editors of 14 toxicology journals to influence pending decisions by the European Commission to establish a framework for regulating chemicals that pose a hazard to normal function of the endocrine system.
Communication about scientific uncertainty: how scientists and science journalists deal with uncertainties in nanoparticle research. Scientific uncertainties, sources, and consequences of use of nanotechnology are normally discussed in review papers. On the other hand, research papers and media reports tend to emphasize certainties in research, without communicating broader issues and uncertainties (such as environmental risks) around the use of the technology. This indicates that there has been no effective dialogue over scientific uncertainty with the public so far.
A systematic approach for identifying and presenting mechanistic evidence in human health assessments. Some elements of a systematic review method are used to gain a comprehensive overview of mechanisms by which DEHP may be carcinogenic.
A plan for revolutionizing toxicology testing for the 21st century. Thomas Hartung discusses a three-pronged approach for the future of toxicology testing, utilizing organotypic cultures, pathways of toxicity (PoT), and integrated testing strategies (ITS). This 21st century toxicology toolkit seeks to revolutionize the field, opening up avenues for biomarker identification, the identification of nonhazardous chemicals, and greener design through predictive toxicology.