On October 24, 2013 the monthly online publication on environmental health issues Health & Environment published an article elaborating on the differences in reaction to the U.K. and U.S. College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG and ACOG) reports on chemical exposures in pregnant women. RCOG and ACOG had published advices to pregnant women on how to avoid environmental chemical exposures in June and October 2013, respectively (previously reported on by the FPF). In the U.K. the media coverage was almost exclusively negative with The Guardian calling the advice ‘unhelpful’ and ‘confusing’. The wide coverage of the report was especially surprising as the short report was intended for internal use by the members of RCOG only. In the U.S. on the other hand, the response to the publication in October 2013 was much more muted. Further, only a response by industry (reported by the FPF) and another opinion piece echoed the negative U.K. response; otherwise reactions were positive. The article by the Health & Environment concludes that responses would have likely been similarly limited in the U.K, if not for a small group of experts and reporters pushing media coverage. They therefore consider that the controversy is rather a manufactured media controversy than a scientific one.
Health & Environment (October 24, 2013). “A tale of two colleges: is it really controversial to advise mothers about potential health effects of chemical exposures?”
FPF article “Pregnant women to avoid chemicals from food packaging”
FPF article “Physicians to reduce patient chemical exposure”