On August 5, 2015 the peer-reviewed scientific journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology published an article by a group of prominent international endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) researchers. The authors, led by Prof. Åke Bergman of Swetox, Sweden, respond to a previous publication by James Lamb of Exponent, U.S. and colleagues, criticizing their 2012 United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report “State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals – 2012” (WHO/UNEP EDC report). Bergman et al. address specific issues raised by Lamb and colleagues as shortcomings of the 2012 WHO/UNEP EDC report, such as omission of references, application of systematic review frameworks, inferring relevance from epidemiological studies, and overall bias due to the application of subjective judgement. They conclude that the critique by Lamb and colleagues is “based on many distortions, inaccuracies, false generalizations, non-scientific argumentation, and erroneous claims”. Further, they accuse the authors of the Lamb et al. article to “not engage with the scientific substance of the report” but moreover, to merely create “the false impression of scientific controversy” and the science surrounding EDCs.
In the view of Bergman and colleagues, the critique by Lamb et al. is “designed to speak to bureaucrats, politicians and other decision makers“ who are “susceptible to false generalizations of bias and subjectivity”. In fact, a recent report has highlighted the extensive lobbying efforts in Brussels, allegedly aiming at delaying regulatory action on EDCs in the EU (FPF reported).
Bergman, Å. et al. (2015). ”Manufacturing doubt about endocrine disrupter science – A rebuttal of industry-sponsored critical comments on the UNEP/WHO report ‘State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals 2012’.” Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (online July 31, 2015).
Lamb IV, JC et al. (2014). “Critical comments on the WHO-UNEP state of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals – 2012.” Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 69:22–40.
Bergman, et al. (2013). ”State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals – 2012.” United Nations Environment Program and World Health Organization
ChemSec (August 10, 2015). “Leading scientists rebut industry-funded attempts to discredit the UNEP/WHO state-of-the-science report on EDCs.“