In an article published on January 23, 2014 in the Wall Street Journal, Julie Girling, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), expresses concerns that the application of the precautionary principle in food regulation may harm transatlantic trade. She argues that the EU’s advances in regulating classes of chemicals deemed hazardous will pose a significant barrier to the proposed trans-Atlantic free-trade zone. She claims that the discussed risk of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to human health “is hypothetical at best”, and criticizes the stigmatization of EDCs. Girling expresses concerns that activists mix the terms “effect” and “risk”. Girling bases her argument on a July 2013 letter to Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission, in which 67 toxicologists argued that the European approach to EDCs was over-precautionary and lacked scientific justification (previously reported on by the FPF). The letter was later opposed by leading endocrinologists, who maintained that there was a wide consensus amongst endocrinologists regarding endocrine disruptors’ low dose effects and non-monotonic dose-responses (previously reported on by the FPF). They expressed a need for amending current chemical risk assessment to reflect these findings. In a reconciliatory meeting in the office of Anne Glover, both groups of scientists could agree that there are possibly no thresholds for EDCs (previously reported on by the FPF).
Julie Girling (January 23, 2014). “The junk science threat to free trade.” Wall Street Journal.
Jan Marco Müller (October 24, 2013). “Minutes of the expert meeting on endocrine disruptors.”(pdf)
Bergman, A., et al. (2013). "Science and policy on endocrine disrupters must not be mixed: a reply to a "common sense" intervention by toxicology journal editors." Environmental Health 12(1): 69.