Role & Missions & Values

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Purpose

PEPPER is an association under the 1901 law, establishing a public – private platform intended for the validation of methods for characterizing PEs. Supported by the Investments for the Future Program, administrations and industrial associations (referral to governance), it organizes and finances tests to build the evidence required by the bodies that carry out internationally recognized validation (OECD, ECVAM , ISO). Hence the term “prevalidation”.

The project emerged in 2014, with the first National Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors which was a world first. PEPPER starts with the implementation of the 2nd strategy

Accelerate research to better understand and adapt our risk management and regulations

ACTION 41 Set up a support platform for the validation of methods and tests allowing the identification of endocrine disruption effects.

Several observations led to its creation of this platform, the first in Europe.

A confusing situation of indeterminacy. The lists of substances suspected of being endocrine disruptors to be evaluated are long and generate controversy. Health and environmental security, securing technological innovation, product guarantees, trust in the responsible authorities suffer from this situation of indecision.

A deficit of test methods to be filled: The European commission has underlined the needs  for [HP1] to   know if a substance has an endocrine disrupting character. In fact, there are many disturbance mechanisms, depending on the ages of life, for humans but also for species. Despite the development of research, the range of methods available is still incomplete.

A missing link to accelerate the validation of these methods. Even fewer methods can be used to regulate, classify, or even simply build consensus than those devised by researchers. Despite research developments, acceptance by validation bodies is slow and difficult, because it requires operations to prove the robustness, repeatability and reproducibility of methods which are expensive, not remunerative for developers, and contribute nothing to research and are not the subject of research funding.

It is the main reason for PEPPER to carry this type of operation which responds to the request of the European Union to facilitate the work of international bodies such as the OECD.

A necessary recourse to shared resources. Yesterday no funding existed while all the actors face the question of endocrine disruptors: agencies in charge of health or biodiversity such as those that produce or market because the subject of endocrine disruptors arises for all sectors of activity. They have in common the need for mutually accepted tools recognized by international bodies. Pooling must also take place between member countries. It also involves the use of test facilities. PEPPER launched this process.

Ambitions

Accelerate translational research

Through the outlet it organizes for operational applications, PEPPER must serve as a catalyst for translational research.

Support the test laboratory and biotechnology sectors in France

The call to laboratories for testing methods aims to support these sectors that the country needs in the dynamics of innovation.

Improve assessment through stakeholder dialogue

The tools must meet expectations and do so realistically. Solutions must meet expectations. Between environmental protection and human protection, between the various fears about health, between scientific advancement and concrete needs, assessments and choices are to be made and priorities to be established. They must be shared. PEPPER brings together different actors, authorities, scientists, operational staff, producers, stakeholders of environmental, consumption and health issues, coming from different countries.

Securing innovation

the platform will help secure innovation by providing developers with tools to ensure the health and environmental security of processes and products [HP1]  .

Create a ripple effect in Europe

France has played and will play a role in accelerating the treatment of the subject of endocrine disruptors in Europe. The PEPPER platform is part of this ambition. It is anchored in Europe by the participation in its governance of institutes of other countries and of European or world bodies. Its activity, both for the origin of the methods to be validated and for the laboratories participating in the tests on the test methods, involves other European countries.

The first platform of this type, it aims to become a structure with a European dimension helping to speed up the validation process.

Bringing regulatory science closer to science in progress.

Regulatory science is the science that makes it possible to base public decisions on “scientifically proven” facts. The 2019 Parliamentary Office report on health and environmental risk assessment recommends “# 5 Encourage regular updating of guidelines [validated test methods] so as not to delay the adoption of new methods and sensitive and reliable tests. ” The profession of PEPPER, but also the dialogue that it organizes, aim at this rapprochement.

Values

PEPPER is built on the principle that it is possible to build tools in partnership to objectify the characterization of endocrine disruptors.

Accept the plurality of points of view.

PEPPER works in a partnership logic between actors of trades, disciplines, concerns and responding to different constraints. Each member of the association and of governance must accept that others can have different points of view and commit to bringing these points of view closer by analyzing the available knowledge and the dialogue built in these bodies.

Apply the rules of scientific integrity.

PEPPER joins the approaches on scientific integrity defined by the academies of European countries in the ALLEA group ( https://allea.org/ ), with in particular the requirements of Reliability, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and vigilance to avoid “manufacturing »Of results, falsification and plagiarism.

Stay in your role.

PEPPER is engaged in the construction of open and shareable tools allowing to objectify the assessments on substances and management rules. It has no judgment to make on the decisions of the validation bodies. It must neither carry out substance evaluations nor take positions on management rules. If its members are in the necessity to do it, they cannot in reference to their membership in PEPPER.

Think from a “One Health” perspective.

PEPPER’s work on endocrine disruptors does not consider humans independently of the environment and ecosystems. The test methods cover one or the other and preferably both.

Work in an open science logic

PEPPER adheres to the principle of “open science” as identified by the OECD ( https://www.oecd.org/science/inno/open-science.htm ) and must give access to its results while respecting intellectual or material property rights.

Posted : 11 June 2020