"The Office of Management and Budget has instructed U.S. EPA to use existing toxicity data rather than require companies to conduct new tests to determine whether chemicals can damage the human endocrine system.
At issue in the White House directive is the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program created by the 1998 Food Quality Protection Act to identify chemicals that can disrupt reproductive systems.
EPA started the program in April with the announcement of the first 67 pesticides for screening with a "Tier 1" goal of identifying possible endocrine disruptors and requiring that they be tested by their manufacturers. The program's second tier is aimed at determining safe exposure levels for such chemicals.
OMB issued the directive last week, after EPA submitted a request for additional information. The White House approved EPA's request to collect additional data for the 67 chemicals but warned the agency that it should "to the greatest extent possible" accept existing data to satisfy test requirements.
The OMB directive, which observers say contained unusually strong language, is being hailed by industry groups that had been concerned about the prospects for expensive testing mandates."