AMA Wants Lawmakers to Regulate Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

November 11, 2009

The AMA adopted a resolution calling on the federal government to enact new policies to decrease the public’s exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals through a single regulatory overseer to ensure coordination among agencies.

The American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates adopted a resolution calling on the AMA to work with the federal government to enact new federal policies to decrease the public’s exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

The resolution, introduced by The Endocrine Society, reflects the findings and recommendations of The Endocrine Society’s peer-reviewed Scientific Statement on EDCs released by the Society this past June. Adoption of this resolution means that it is now AMA policy and is wholly supported by the House of Medicine.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are substances in the environment that interfere with hormone biosynthesis, metabolism or action resulting in adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. These chemicals are designed, produced and marketed largely for specific industrial purposes. They are also found in some natural foods and may become further concentrated as foods are processed.

“The science demonstrates that there is cause for concern regarding the health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals,” said Robert Vigersky, MD, president of The Endocrine Society. “The Endocrine Society applauds the AMA’s effort to pursue informed policies that regulate the production of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and limit the public’s exposure to these substances and their associated potential health hazards.”

The resolution states that the AMA will work with the federal government to pursue the following tenets:

Regulatory oversight of endocrine-disrupting chemicals should be centralized so that regulations pass through a single office to ensure coordination among agencies with the exception of pharmaceutical agents that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and are used for medicinal purposes;

* Policy should be based on comprehensive data covering both low-level and high-level exposures; and

* Policy should be developed and revised under the direction of a collaborative group comprising endocrinologists, toxicologists, occupational/environmental medicine specialists, epidemiologists and policymakers.

“The Endocrine Society is concerned that the public may be placed at risk because critical information about the potential health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals is being overlooked in the development of federal guidelines and regulations,” said Vigersky. “This new resolution marks an important step in engaging policymakers to enact policies that decrease public exposure to these potentially harmful chemicals.”

Source: Endocrine Society