In an article published on December 20, 2016 by the news provider The Conversation, Simon Chapman, emeritus professor in public health, and Matthew Landos, lecturer in veterinary aquatic animal health, both from the University of Sydney, Australia, discuss the ecological and human health hazards of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) as well as the regulatory situation regarding EDCs in Australia. The authors summarize the many adverse health effects associated with exposure to EDCs and refer to scientific publications, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation’s Environmental Program (UNEP) 2012 report on the state of the science of EDCs (FPF reported), the Endocrine Society’s second scientific statement on EDCs (FPF reported), and a study estimating the magnitude of EDC-linked health costs in the U.S. (FPF reported). Chapman and Landos further explain how “Australian regulators have largely managed to avoid calling endocrine disruption a toxicological endpoint requiring assessment.” The authors write that “intense lobbying from chemical companies and big agricultural interests” contributed to the situation that “the vast majority of agricultural and veterinary chemicals used today on food in Australia are unassessed for specific EDC activity.” Also, “chemicals which migrate from packaging materials used on food, into food also lack this rigorous assessment,” the authors note. They conclude by stating that “Europe is taking a far more rigorous approach to EDCs recognizing the financial benefits of preventing disease through reducing exposures to these chemicals.”

Contrasting this last statement, investigative journalist Stéphane Horel criticizes the European Commission’s (EC) latest revised draft EDC criteria (FPF reported) in an article published by the news provider Environmental Health News (EHN) on December 21, 2016. Horel’s article was originally published by the French newspaper Le Monde on December 20, 2016. She calls out the last minute derogation the EC made to its draft EDC criteria which proposes to spare “pesticides that have been designed to be endocrine disruptors” from being identified and prohibited as such. According to Horel, this derogation was requested by the pesticide industry and affects about 15 insecticides and some herbicides, or “more than 8,700 tonnes of commercial products per year, just for France.” Another derogation in the EC’s revised texts provides that “the risks posed by endocrine disrupting pesticides would be assessed on a case-by-case basis after being placed on the market, whereas the law requires their a priori prohibition.”

Read more

Simon Chapman and Matthew Landos (December 20, 2016). “Endocrine disrupting chemicals – is there any larger, more neglected health problem?The Conversation

Stéphane Horel (December 21, 2016). “Endocrine disruptors: The discreet but major gift to the pesticides lobby.EHN