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Thank you for joining us at Society of Toxicology’s (SOT) ToxExpo 2015

Society of Toxicology’s (SOT) 54th annual meeting held March 22nd-26th in San Diego, California. ToxExpo 2015 hosted 6,900 attendees and 347 exhibitors at the San Diego Convention Center.


Ray Matulka, Ph.D., speaks on the SOT Roundtable: Will the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Process Become an Endangered Species?

The GRAS Roundtable filled the conference room, with almost one hundred attendees in the room. Our Director of Toxicology, Dr. Ray Matulka, was joined by three other speakers on a roundtable discussion on the GRAS process and how it can be improved. The other speakers were Diane McColl from Hyman, Phillips & McNamara, Dr. Antonia Mattia from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Dr. Emilia Lonardo from Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). Ms. McColl started the discussion with a general review of the GRAS process, where the process stands today, and addressed the question, “What does GRAS really mean?” Dr. Mattia continued the dialogue by describing the GRAS Notification program through FDA, with a brief discussion of the recent concerns of the GRAS process, with current and future plans to address these concerns. Dr. Matulka spoke on the ability of FDA to evaluate GRAS determinations, both those completed within FDA and those conducted by industry, as well as FDA’s potential actions to limit use and consumption of ingredients that FDA finds not meeting the standard of a GRAS substance. Dr. Matulka utilized cases studies of substances that have been removed from FDA’s GRAS list (glycine and cyclamates), as well as examples of public actions FDA may take to limit the use of substances for which the FDA has concerns. Dr. Lonardo discussed how the GRAS process affects industry, and touched on GMA’s plans to help increase transparency in the GRAS procedure, including creating a standard for GRAS dossiers, increasing transparency of GRAS records. The roundtable then opened the floor up for questions.


Congratulations to Xiao Xiao,

Winner of Burdock Group SOT ToxExpo Student Travel Award

Mr. Xiao Xiao, winner of the Burdock Group student travel award to SOT ToxExpo 2015, is a current Ph.D. candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in the Department of Food Science.

Mr. Xiao Xiao’s doctoral dissertation research examines the interaction between oral permethrin exposure and dietary fat on glucose metabolism in mice.  His results show that permethrin exposure further increases the serum insulin level and insulin resistance in mice fed a high fat diet and add to the growing body of evidence that exposure to pesticides may be involved in development of obesity or diabetes. Mr. Xiao Xiao hopes that his findings will lead to more effective strategies for prevention of these diseases.

Burdock Group is excited to award Xiao Xiao with the student travel stipend to send him to SOT ToxExpo for the first time, as well as introduce him as a new member of the SOT Food Safety Specialty Section.

Dr. Laurie Dolan presented the Student Travel Award at the Food Safety Specialty Section reception on Tuesday night.


Showing Appreciation for the Outgoing SOT President, Nicola Stagg

Dr. Dolan presented the outgoing president of SOT with a plaque of recognition and appreciation for her amazing work and dedication to the organization for the past two years.


Were you unable to attend SOT’s annual meeting? Email us at for copies of all the roundtable’s speakers’ slides, and visit SOT’s Facebook page for pictures from the event.

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