Skip Navigation
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

"Human Toxome Project:" A New European Horizon for Risk Assessment

Lunch Debate chaired by Mr Prodi

May 15, 2012
12:00 to 14:00
PHS 1A002

Toxicity testing is not delivering what safety of products demands nor is it sufficiently relying upon the most advanced technologies. It typically involves studying adverse health outcomes in animals subjected to high doses of toxicants with subsequent extrapolation to expected human responses at lower doses. But we are not 70kg rats feeding largely on chemicals. The system is expensive, time-consuming, low-throughput and often provides results of limited predictive value for human health. The toxicity testing methods are largely the same for industrial chemicals, pesticides and drugs, and have led to a backlog of more than 80,000 chemicals to which humans are potentially exposed but whose potential toxicity remains largely unknown.

In the US, a new toxicity testing plan has been launched which includes the use of predictive, high-throughput cell-based assays (of human origin) to evaluate perturbations in key pathways of toxicity, and to conduct targeted testing against those pathways. Mapping the entirety of these pathways (hence the 'Human Toxome Project') could be a large-scale effort, perhaps on the order of the Human Genome Project. It could develop tremendous opportunities for REACH, the testing ban for cosmetics, the pesticide regulation, and the endocrine disruptor screening, while reducing animal suffering. How can Europe contribute to this goal?

Draft Agenda


Introduction by Vittorio Prodi, MEP


Prof. Thomas Hartung
Johns Hopkins University and former head of ECVAM (European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods)


Prof. Roberto Dall' Aglio
Professor of Endocrinology and President of the Chemotherapy / Oncology clinic of the University of Milan Italy


Troy Seidle
Director of Research & Toxicology
Humane Society International


Pharmaceutical industry representative- Bracco (tbc)




Prof. Jos Kleinjans
HOD, Department of Toxicogenomics
Maastricht University


Dr. Gernot Klotz
Executive Director Research and Innovation
The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)


Mr. Philippe Martin
Head of Sector, Assessment of New Risks and Research Co-ordination DG SANCO


Dr. Roberto Bertollini, (tbc)
World Health Organization, Brussels




Conclusions by Vittorio Prodi

Working Language; English

Please R.S.V.P before the 8th of May.

If you need an access badge for the European Parliament, please send to your full name, nationality, date of birth, and passport/ID number by the 7th of May.

Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament