Conflict of Interest Policy

The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) has established a conflict of interest policy to complement its bylaws to prevent the personal interest of officers, staff members, governance members, contractors and volunteers from interfering with the performance of their duties to SETAC and to avoid personal financial, professional or political gain on the part of such persons at the expense of SETAC or its members, supporters and other stakeholders.

SETAC’s founding and current operating principles are 

three people symbolizing the three main sectors, government, academia and business

Multidisciplinary approaches to solving
environmental problems

scale with balanced weight

Balance in participation: Involving stakeholders from all sectors

chemical flask

Science-based Objectivity

SETAC welcomes the input from experts from different disciplines and sectors. Each of them brings their specific views to the table, and affiliation should never be viewed as the sole conflict of interest objective in the assessment. We believe that stakeholders from all sectors together build consensus opinions based on objective science. Thus, we believe that it is important that sufficient information be provided to make an informed decision in conflict of interest declarations.


Conflict of interest (also conflict) is a situation in which an individual, especially a person in a position of trust such as a staff or governance member, has competing interests or loyalties, or when a person has two relationships that might compete with each other for the person’s loyalties. 

Governance member means a member of a SETAC council or board of directors. 

Staff member means a person who receives all or part of their income from the payroll of SETAC.

Contributor means corporation, foundation, individual, nonprofit and other nongovernmental organizationthat financially contributes to SETAC.

Policy and Practices

  1. By notice in writing using the form provided in attachment 1, the parties in a position of trust shall fully disclose to the full governance body all possible conflicts of interest, including but not limited to the following:  
    1. A governancemember is related to another governancemember or staff member by blood, marriage, domestic partnership, or non-SETAC work relationship. 
    2. A staff member in a supervisory capacity is related to another staff member by blood, marriage, domestic partnership, or non-SETAC work relationship.
    3. A governance member or their organization or a staff member stands to benefit from a transaction or receives payment for any contract, subcontract, goods or services other than as part of their regular job responsibilities or as reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred as outlinedin the By-Laws and council or board policy.  
    4. A governance member’s organization receives grant funding from SETAC.
    5. A governance member or staff member is a member of the governing body of a contributor to SETAC.
    6. A governance member is considering employment with SETAC, as outlined in the By-Laws.
  2. Following full disclosure of a possible conflict of interest (including any condition listed above), the governance body shall determine by vote whether a conflict of interest exists, and if so, the governance body shall vote to authorize or reject the transaction or take any other actions deemed necessary to address or mitigate the conflict and protect SETAC’s best interests. Both votes shall be by a majority vote without counting the vote of any interested or potentially interested governance member(s), even if the governance member(s) without conflict are less than a quorum provided that at least one consenting governance member is disinterested, or conflict-free.  
  3. An interested governance member or staff member shall not participate in any discussion or debate of the governance body, or of any committee or subcommittee thereof, in which the subject of discussion is a contract, transaction or situation in which there is a conflict of interest. However, they may be present to provide clarifying information in such a discussion or debate unless objected to by any present governance or committee member. This shall be reflected in the minutes of the specific governance or committee meeting.
  4. Anyone in a position to make decisions about spending SETAC’s resources (i.e., transactions such as purchase contracts) – who also stands to benefit from that decision – has a duty to disclose that conflict as soon as it arises (or becomes apparent); they should not participate in any final decisions. 
  5. A copy of this policy shall be given to all governance and staff members, or other key stakeholders, upon commencement of such person’s relationship with SETAC or at the official adoption of stated policy. This policy shall also be available on the SETAC website. Each governance member and staff member shall sign and date the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Format the beginning of their term of service or employment. Failure to sign does not nullify the policy.
  6. This Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form must be filed out annually by all specified parties and updated promptly if circumstances change or a conflict arises.