News 2015 / August

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Leading scientists rebut industry-funded attempts to discredit the UNEP/WHO state-of-the-science report on EDCs

In the light of the process to identify criteria for identification of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) for EU regulations, several industry associations are working hard to create the impression of scientific controversy.

Last week, 24 endocrinologists from universities and research institutions worldwide, provided a detailed response to earlier published criticism of the 2013 UNEP/WHO report “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – State of the Science”.

While the UNEP/WHO report aimed at summarising the science of EDCs, industry associations have later reacted and claimed the report to be “biased” and “unscientific”. In 2014, a number of consultants, funded by several industry associations including the American Chemicals Council and CEFIC, published a detailed criticism (Lamb et al 2014) on why the WHO/UNEP report should not be regarded as relevant.

The endocrinologists, led by professor Åke Bergman, address in their paper the criticism by Lamb et al point by point, and stress in their conclusion that the critique “is not intended to be persuasive to the scientific community, but is designed to speak to bureaucrats, politicians and other decision makers not intimately familiar with the topic of endocrine disruption and therefore susceptible to false generalizations of bias and subjectivity.”

– We do understand that industry is worried about potential financial implications arising from stricter regulation of EDCs. However, for the sake of future generations, we urge the Commission to acknowledge the work of independent endocrinologist for establishing scientific criteria for EDC identification, says Dr Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist.

– First once these have been established, the potential impact for industry should be weighed into the possible options for regulating EDCs, Dr Lennquist concludes.

Bergman et al rebuttal

Lamb et al criticism