Teratogenicity: Predictive Models
The thalidomide tragedy shocked the world into recognizing that the human embryo was not protected from teratogenic agents by an impervious placental barrier. As a result of this human catastrophe, the regulatory agencies initiated comprehensive evaluations of testing methodologies designed to more adequately assess the human teratogenic potential of drugs, food additives, pesticides, and other products to which humans could be exposed. As expected, these evaluations led to the development of more comprehensive testing procedures. However, the interesting point is that there was a long history of teratogenic testing in the United States and other industrialized societies that preceded the thalidomide incident.