On April 21, 2014 Kevin C. Elliott and David B. Resnik comment in an article published on the news provider Environmental Health News (EHN) on the debate regarding proposed endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) regulation in Europe. In July 2013, 18 scientists wrote an editorial sharply criticizing the European efforts to regulate EDCs as over-precautionary and lacking scientific basis; a piece of writing that was vehemently opposed by other scientists (previously reported on by the FPF). In the article on EHN, Elliott and Resnik argue that scientists should disclose conflicts of interest and clarify strengths and weaknesses of different interpretations rather than maintaining a sharp distinction between personal values and “the science”. They stress that in particular in areas of political debate requiring value judgments, aiming to remove all personal interest is unrealistic. Instead, Elliot and Resnik suggest declaring interests and making original data on which decisions are based publically available to increase transparency, as they already detailed in a recently published commentary article in Environmental Health Perspectives (Elliot and Resnik 2014). Acknowledging personal values may further contribute to better public health policy, allowing stakeholders to draw adequate conclusions.
The above mentioned EDC policy debate resulted in a meeting of the opposing experts with the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisor where a consensus on the EDC definition and non-threshold hypothesis for EDC’s was reached. The implication for risk assessment of these conclusions continues to remain under debate (previously reported on by the FPF).
Elliot, KC and Resnik, DB (April 22, 2014). “Opinion: More light, less heat over endocrine disruptors.” Environmental Health News.
FPF article “Scientists agree: Possibly no thresholds for EDCs”
Elliot, K.C and Resnik D.B. (2014). “Science, Policy, and the Transparency of Values.” Environmental Health Perspectives (published online March 25).