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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2015 Dec;73(3):1007-17. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2015.07.026. Epub 2015 Jul 31.

Manufacturing doubt about endocrine disrupter science--A rebuttal of industry-sponsored critical comments on the UNEP/WHO report "State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012".

Author information

  • 1Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center (Swetox), Södertälje, Sweden. Electronic address:
  • 2Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
  • 3University of California, Irvine, USA.
  • 4University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
  • 5School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • 6Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
  • 7Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center, Vancouver, Canada.
  • 8University of California, San Francisco, USA.
  • 9National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, USA.
  • 10National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki, Japan.
  • 11Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK.
  • 12University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
  • 13Environment Canada, Burlington, Canada.
  • 14Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 15Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
  • 16Copenhagen University Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 17University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
  • 18University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, USA.


We present a detailed response to the critique of "State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012" (UNEP/WHO, 2013) by financial stakeholders, authored by Lamb et al. (2014). Lamb et al.'s claim that UNEP/WHO (2013) does not provide a balanced perspective on endocrine disruption is based on incomplete and misleading quoting of the report through omission of qualifying statements and inaccurate description of study objectives, results and conclusions. Lamb et al. define extremely narrow standards for synthesizing evidence which are then used to dismiss the UNEP/WHO 2013 report as flawed. We show that Lamb et al. misuse conceptual frameworks for assessing causality, especially the Bradford-Hill criteria, by ignoring the fundamental problems that exist with inferring causality from empirical observations. We conclude that Lamb et al.'s attempt of deconstructing the UNEP/WHO (2013) report is not particularly erudite and that their critique is not intended to be convincing to the scientific community, but to confuse the scientific data. Consequently, it promotes misinterpretation of the UNEP/WHO (2013) report by non-specialists, bureaucrats, politicians and other decision makers not intimately familiar with the topic of endocrine disruption and therefore susceptible to false generalizations of bias and subjectivity.

Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


EDCs; Endocrine disruption; Endocrine disruptors

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