On June 10, 2015 the Dutch national television station NPO 2 aired a documentary on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Journalist Nicolien Herblot spoke with several international and Dutch scientists about the scientific evidence on EDCs. She also interviewed experts on regulation of EDCs, notably French free-lance journalist Stéphane Horel who recently co-authored a detailed report about lobbying on EDCs (FPF reported). The thirty minute film gives insight into why EDCs are thought to be of concern by independent scientific experts, and how policy making in Brussels got log-jammed due to special interests. The report also explains that a recent analysis estimates the public health costs of diseases associated with EDCs at 157 billion Euros (FPF reported), and tries to put this into perspective with costs for industry in case EDCs are regulated more strictly. Further, Nicolien Herblot asks why pregnant women in the Netherlands are not given information on EDCs and how to avoid them by the official agency; in other European countries (for example Denmark) the authorities publish special information brochures warning about exposure to EDCs during pregnancy.
A similar, but shorter report was shown on June 9, 2015 on the national German television station ARD, entitled “Lobbysieg zu Lasten der Verbraucher” [Lobbying victory at the expense of consumers]. Journalists Hendrik Loven and Anna Tillack obtained internal plastics industry documents from Plastics Europe on their communication strategy for EDCs. Specifically, scientific studies showing that EDCs leach from plastics is considered a “weakness”, whereas an “opportunity” is seen in the form of published research finding no hormonal activity of plastic. Lobbying experts state that industry interests are mainly to delay regulation on EDCs. Furthermore, acting EU Commissioner for Health, Vytenis Andriukaitis is interviewed and states that the process for EDC criteria setting had been delayed not due to lobbying influences, but because of its complexity.
Hendrik Loven and Anna Tillack (June 9, 2015). “Lobbysieg zu Lasten der Verbraucher. Gefährliche Verzögerung bei EU-Chemikalienregulierung.” ARD Report München
Nicolien Herblot (June 10, 2015). „Hormoonverstoorders.” Zembla NPO 2