On October 17, 2013 the daily newspaper New York Times published an article comparing the reluctance of the chemical industry to act on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to the willful negligence of the lead and tobacco industry regarding adverse health effects caused by their products. The columnist Nicholas Kristof points out that while there is still uncertainty regarding the risk of specific EDCs, there is rising concern regarding the risk of EDCs in general. In accordance with the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and the U.S. President’s Cancer Panel, Kristof details that in particular fetuses and children are at risk of long term adverse health effects caused by EDCs. Kristof reports on the current feud amongst scientists regarding the proposed European EDC regulation. A July 2013 letter to the European Commission’s scientific advisor Anne Glover had called the proposed European EDC regulation over-precautionary and supported the maintenance of the status quo (Dietrich et al. 2013, reported by the FPF). The response letter by Andrea Gore, editor of the scientific journal Endocrinology was signed by 140 scientists and editors (Gore et al. 2013, reported by the FPF). In the letter, Gore states that the evidence showing that EDCs pose a human health threat is “undeniable”. Kristof depicts in his article that in the face of lacking EDC regulation, many experts already avoid EDCs exposure arising from food contact materials and other sources. The columnist concludes wondering whether the chemical industry will voluntarily act on EDCs or whether it will fight regulation like tobacco and lead industry have done previously.
Nicholas Kristof (October 17, 2013). “This is your brain on toxins.” New York Times.