Smithers Vicient Expert forum calls for wider dialogue on metabolism and fate of chemicals in the environment

Last month in Germany, 40 experts in metabolism and environmental degradation met in the first forum of its kind to share research findings, discuss best practices, and debate the use of this data for the current and future environmental and human health risk assessments.

Leatherhead, 16 July 2013: The forum was attended by many leading experts in the field, from major agrochemical, industrial chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, contract research labs, consultancies, and universities, and regulatory advisors.

A high quality programme was presented, with papers covering novel test methods, critique of established standards and methodologies, and results from new studies. However, the audience were most engaged when the topics of regulations and regulatory science were addressed. It was concluded that many current guideline studies and tests could be modified to provide better and relevant data to further improve the science based risk assessments.

The audience cited this forum as an ideal platform to give an opportunity for such a dialog, an independent, open forum with real time peer review that could provide useful input to test guidelines, data requirements, and risk assessments.

Other topics to surface as a future focus included: chirality and its future implications in fate & metabolism studies; increased engagement of academia in plant/crop metabolism studies; current and future approaches to structure elucidation of metabolites and degradates.

Dr Volker Bornemann, President of Smithers Viscient and Chairman of the forum’s Programme Committee, comments “The forum was exceptionally well received and highlights the demand for this type of event. The agenda addressed gaps such as in experimental crop metabolism which is not well covered by current environmental and crop science meetings,” adding, “We see great potential to develop this Environmental Science Forum and would welcome a stronger EC and governmental regulatory presence to provide an opportunity to intensify the regulatory science dialog regarding current and future test guidelines and data requirements”.

The organisers would like to thank all contributors for making it a successful inaugural forum, and the attendees for their participation in fruitful and lively discussion. “It was an eye opener to the activities and points of view of industries in the field”, said Mélanie Kah of University of Vienna, while Neil Geach of Selcia Ltd appreciated the “Excellent talks were both varied and relevant.”

The event, entitled Advances in Metabolism and Environmental Degradation Science will take place again in June 2014, with location currently to be confirmed. Please contact if you would like to be kept informed about the event.

Smithers Viscient is a global Contract Research Organization (CRO) for the crop protection, pharmaceutical, industrial chemical, and consumer household industries. With laboratories in North America and Europe, and additional offices in Asia, Smithers Viscient has performed standard guideline and higher-tiered environmental studies for over 40 years. For more information visit

Further information is available at

Contact Jo Martin Smithers +44 (0)1372 802000