In an article published on February 23, 2014 by the public health blog Health & Environment various points brought forward in an opinion piece by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Julie Girling are deconstructed. In the article published in the Wall Street Journal on January 23, 2014, Girling argued that the irrational application of the precautionary principle to chemicals meant that ‘junk science’ was threatening potential free trans-atlantic trade agreements (previously reported on by the FPF). The new article argues the use of the precautionary principle in the face of lacking scientific uncertainty on chemical risks is a rational step to take. Because endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are considered to potentially cause irreversible damage, public interest groups, scientists, parts of the European Commission and many members of the European Parliament have called for regulatory action on EDCs before full scientific certainty on EDCs is reached. As this alliance is so widely spread across society, it can hardly be considered merely an irrational minority, the Health & Environment blog argues. The blog reinforces the need to regulate man-made EDCs that may have adverse effects on the body or the body’s resilience to additional stress. In the blog, Health & Environment stresses that ideally all chemicals would be sufficiently tested to preclude any adverse human health effect before they are marketed. A solution remains to be found for already marketed, potentially harmful chemicals. Society will have to agree on what level of evidence is required to justify action on such chemicals, Health & Environment concludes.
Health & Environment (February 23, 2014). “The “junk science threat” to free trade.”