knowledgeable scientists had to say about Easterbrook's article:
the Editor of The New Republic:
members of the National Research Council panel on endocrine disruptors
we read Easterbrook's gross mischaracterization of this issue
("Science Fiction," 30 August) with considerable dismay. The tone
and content of his commentary suggest a basic unfamiliarity with
the scientific concepts involved and indicate he has not read
the report on which he comments.
states, for example, that "The NRC declared the theory of endocrine
disrupters "rife with uncertainties" possibly true but unsupported
by experiments or health data." In fact, the theory of endocrine
disruption rests on hundreds of laboratory experiments that demonstrate,
in fetal mammals and other vertebrates, an exquisite sensitivity
to hormone disrupting compounds that can cause profound errors
evidence from human studies show several trends in health data
that are consistent with predictions based on these experiments
with animals and the mechanisms of endocrine disruption. Unfortunately,
the crucial studies to determine with scientific certainty whether
those human health effects are caused by endocrine disruption
have not been done. This is why the panel so strongly recommended
an aggressive research agenda.
characterize endocrine disrupting chemicals as an unlikely health
threat, as Easterbrook does, in light of the evidence reviewed
by the NRC panel and before this crucial research is completed
is irresponsible and misguided. It also represents a conclusion
that not a single scientist on the NRC panel was willing to make.
Louis F. Guillette, Ph.D.
vom Saal, Ph.D.
Ana Soto, Ph.D.
Shanna Swan, Ph.D.
Research Council Committee on Hormonally Active Agents in the