New York Times Op-Ed Highlights Society’s EDC Position

The Endocrine Society’s second scientific statement on endocrine-disrupting chemicals was highlighted in an opinion piece written by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof which was published Saturday, November 28.

Kristoff quoted the Society’s position that links endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to diabetes and obesity, which is one of the many citations in the statement that was published in the October issue of Endocrine Reviews. Society members Andrea Gore, PhD, editor-in-chief of Endocrinology, and Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, at the University of California – San Francisco were both quoted by Kristoff.

Woodruff was quick to point out that people assume that if chemicals are available then they have been approved by the U.S. government and that they are safe. “It’s frustrating to see the same story over and over,” she told Kristoff. “Animal studies, in vitro tests, or early human studies show that chemical A causes adverse effects. The chemical industry says, ‘Those are bad studies, show me the human evidence.’ The human evidence takes years and requires that people get sick. We should not have to use the public as guinea pigs.”

Gore compared the influence of the chemical industry with another industry that also had significant sway in Congress: “There are almost endless parallels with the tobacco industry,” she tells Kristoff.

“The chemical lobby spent the equivalent of $121,000 per member of Congress last year,” Kristoff writes, “so expect chemical companies to enjoy strong quarterly profits, more boys to be born with hypospadias and more women to die unnecessarily of breast cancer.”

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