In an article published September 23, 2013, the news webpage Environmental Health News reveals that 17 out of 18 authors who signed the controversial Dietrich et al. editorial (pdf) have undeclared past or present ties to industry. Stéphane Horel and Brian Bienkowski, journalists for Environmental Health News, uncovered that 17 of the signees have received research funds from industry or worked as industry consultants or advisors. The lead author Daniel Dietrich is a former expert for the industry funded European Center for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) and has co-authored research with Dow Europe, Astra Zeneca and Bayer Healthcare employees. The editorial, which was accompanied by an open letter addressed to Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission (EC), was published in several journals, of which the signatories are editors-in-chief. It sparked criticism because it called a leaked draft proposal (pdf) by the EC’s Environment Directorate-General (DG Envi) over-precautionary and supported the maintenance of the status quo in toxicological risk assessment. On September 18, 2013 the editorial received a written response by several EDC scientists and editors-in-chief from other scientific journals (previously reported by the FPF). Prior to this publication, other prominent EDC scientists had published a commentary on the letter by Dietrich et al. in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health, which defended the EC’s EDC policy and considered it scientifically justified (previously reported by the FPF). While the EC’s final proposal for an EDC policy was expected later this year, the EC now considers launching an impact assessment, which will likely postpone decisions until late 2014.
Environmental Health News (September 23, 2013). “Special report: Scientists critical of EU chemical policy have industry ties.”
Environmental Health News (September 23, 2013). “Science and conflicts of interest: Ties to industry revealed.”