On July 20, 2016 the scientific journal Nature published a correspondence article written by Daniel R. Dietrich, professor of toxicology at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Dietrich, together with seven other signatories, expressed his concern over the European Union’s processes for setting safety regulations for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), claiming that they are “influenced by media and pseudoscience scaremongering.” Dietrich points out that the European Commission (EC) based its proposed criteria for identifying EDCs (FPF reported) on “correlational, not causal, studies.” Further, Dietrich argues that “non-governmental organizations might need to maintain public concerns to boost charitable donations” and “some scientists put securing research funds above objective appraisal of the evidence.” Resultantly, “regulations can become unnecessarily restrictive,” Dietrich concludes.
On August 3, 2016 Nature published a correspondence article written by Leonardo Trasande, medical doctor (MD) and associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and population health at New York University School of Medicine, U.S., in response to Dietrich’s piece. Trasande, together with 25 other signatories, refers to Dietrich’s opinion as “unsubstantiated arguments” that try to “dismiss thousands of peer-reviewed academic studies and rigorous evaluations of EDCs by independent scientists and organizations.” Transande highlights that “identification of hazards associated with EDCs relies on randomized mechanistic studies in animals and observational epidemiological studies in humans.” Further, Trasande stresses that “the costs of continued inaction on EDCs are estimated to be more than €150 billion (US$167 billion) annually” (FPF reported). Trasande and colleagues conclude that proactive measures are needed “to prevent disease and disability across the life course” and that “regulatory decision-making should rely on peer-reviewed research to evaluate EDCs.”
Daniel R. Dietrich (July 20, 2016). “EU safety regulations: Don’t mar legislation with pseudoscience.” Nature 535:355.
Leonardo Trasande (August 3, 2016). “Endocrine disruptors: Refereed science to guide action on EDCs.” Nature 536:30.