Industry and scientists in cross-fire on endocrine-disrupting chemicals
Chemical industry representatives clashed publicly with eminent scientists studying hormone-mimicking effects of industrial chemicals at meetings in Brussels and London in May. As evidence of endocrine effects caused by commercially important chemicals emerges, industry is concerned that substances are not banned on the basis of evidence which is difficult to interpret and may not prove to be experimentally repeatable. The stakes are high, with scientists accusing industry of belittling their work and attempting to control the research agenda. Meanwhile, environmentalists appear to accept that scientific certainties are years away and are actively promoting precautionary action to reduce the exposure of humans and wildlife to endocrine disruptors.