Published on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 12:12
It is only January and this may be the story of the year. Simina Mistreanu writes for The Missourian about University of Missouri Professor Frederick vom Saal’s ongoing research and advocacy to remove endocrine disruptors, such as BPA, from consumer products that we use daily.
“For the past 20 years, much of MU biology professor Frederick vom Saal’s research, thoughts and time have converged into one point: trying to get endocrine disruptors — chemicals that interfere with the hormone system and can cause obesity, infertility and cancer — out of daily use.
He's accomplished the laboratory part, which resulted in dozens of scientific papers outlining the negative effects of bisphenol-A, an endocrine disruptor. These chemicals are everywhere in the environment: in plastics, food cans, clothing fabrics, furniture and household and beauty products.
Now he's doing the communicator's part, trying to convince U.S. authorities to regulate the chemicals.
In mid-September, vom Saal was among 20 scientists who met in a closed session in St. Louis to discuss why, in the face of what they see as mountainous evidence, U.S. regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration don't ban endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Vom Saal's work, and that of other scientists, has so far persuaded 11 states, Canada, China and the European Union to enact legislation prohibiting or restricting endocrine disruptors. Now he’s making further attempts to crack a tougher nut: the U.S. regulatory system.”
The article provides readers with one of the best overviews of the health and safety issues surrounding endocrine disruptors such as BPA. Simina does a wonderful job of providing readers with a clear understanding of the fight over BPA and just how far corporations and their trade organizations are willing to go to block this type of research. Here is a telling quote from the article:
“A few months later, when the MU professors were preparing the publication of a second article on BPA, they received a visit from someone at Dow Chemical Co., one of the leading BPA manufacturers.
Vom Saal has repeatedly described that visit in media interviews over the years: The Dow Chemical representative allegedly asked the scientists not to publish their paper unless approved by the Chemical Manufacturers Association, offering MU instead a research budget for a new study.
Vom Saal and Welshons refused and reported the visit as inappropriate and potentially illegal in a letter to the FDA, the MU chancellor and the media. Dow Chemical's spokesman has repeatedly explained that the incident was just an "enormous misunderstanding."”
All we can say is WOW. We are sure DOW Chemicals will be on full spin today and we are not sure there is any way to spin that section. But we are sure DOW will try.
The article though is not the only aspect of this story that deserves accolades. The Missourian also includes supplemental materials that provide readers with a timeline of the issue, how BPA effects the cells of a fetus and how to avoid BPA. These supplemental materials are amazing and worth reading and sharing.
We want to acknowledge the Missourian for running this article and supplemental materials. It is journalism such as this that will make the difference in efforts to restrict/ban the use of BPA in consumer products.
We want to recognize that Dr. vom Saal, Simina Mistreanu and The Missourian as our first Coily Heroes for 2012. Dr. vom Saal’s dedication and determination on this issue deserve our gratitude.
You can read the entire article by following the link to The Missourian website. Please share this information with friends and family so they can take the necessary actions to remove products that use BPA from their daily lives.