On Earth Day – April 22, 2017 – in Washington, DC (and in satellite marches in 600+ cities across the globe) thousands of people will come together in a show of force in the March for Science. We march to show our support for the research, analysis, and methods that seek to solve the most complex puzzles that inform our understanding of our world and improve the human condition. We march to defend the decisive role science plays in health, safety, economics, and government.
For CIEL and our community, recent attempts to undermine, discredit, and control science is an attack on the facts themselves. Facts, data, and the conclusions drawn from analyzed empirical evidence are the foundation from which good decisions can be made, whether it’s creating government policy, implementing safety guidelines, or making consumer choices that impact our health.
Facts and data are empowering. For CIEL’s attorneys and global partners, facts and data are some of the best tools to protect the rule of law, to achieve justice, and protect the environment and human rights.
Science also grounds CIEL’s work on endocrine disruptors chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are chemicals capable of interfering with the hormone system, which regulates body and brain development, reproduction, growth, metabolism, immunity, and behavior. Plastics, food, and cosmetics can be contaminated by these health-threatening substances. Scientific evidence has linked EDCs exposure to health issues, including cancers, infertility, and neurological disorders.
In order to prevent hazardous EDC exposure, science-based identification criteria must be adopted. Effective identification of EDCs allows us to regulate them and prevent their hazardous effects on our health.
Currently, the European Union still lacks EDCs identification criteria. Consequently, a legal and protection vacuum exists: endocrine disruptors should already be banned, but the absence of identification criteria has allowed them to poison our food, water, and daily products.
Among the causes for this delay is a continuous attack on science by industry-sponsored actors.
Scientists, including from the Endocrine Society, have slammed the current EDC identification criteria proposed by the European Commission, saying it ‘will likely fail to identify many endocrine disruptors’ and ‘cannot be called science-based.’ The proposal is also undermined by exemptions that seem designed by pesticides lobbyists.
Considering that the European identification criteria on endocrine disruptors would be the first criteria in the world, it is an opportunity to implement effective provisions that take into account the best scientific research. Our health demands nothing less.
Scientific discoveries – whether about the impacts of lead, smog, tobacco, burning fossil fuels, or endocrine disrupting chemicals – have come under attack when they raise questions about commercial activities and products. Industry has responded to these scientific discoveries by sabotaging individual scientists, burying inconvenient scientific results, and creating false controversy with industry-funded science.
For these reasons, CIEL emphatically supports the March for Science. Science helps us understand reality and is an essential tool to protect our rights and environment, from our work to climate change to the protection from hazardous substances.
Originally posted April 21, 2017