started this petition to
Save ourselves from EDCs in food,
Martin Schulz, European Parliament president
Endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs are
chemicals that can interfere with the body’s endocrine or hormone system – the
highly sensitive chemical messaging system the body uses to control different
metabolic and developmental processes. They are mostly man-made and found in various foods
and materials as contaminants, pesticides, in personal-care products or as
Human and animal hormones regulate bodily
functions such as metabolism, sexual development and growth. Hormones are
released into the blood by various glands including the thyroid, ovaries and
testicles. The hormone system is linked to both the nervous and immune systems.
The most miniscule
levels of hormones can have great effect and so exposures to very low levels of
EDCs can play havoc with nature, particularly at crucial stages of development
and during the complex developmental stages before birth to the extent that they
can even cause death.
Many of the initial reports about the
effects of EDCs come from wildlife. Examples are egg-shell thinning in birds,
feminisation in fish, malformations of the genitalia in reptiles, and
reproductive and immune problems in various mammals. There is now scientific
evidence that EDCs are linked to infertility and reproductive problems in
humans, as well as to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hormone related
cancers, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Another concern is the potential for
effects on brain function and cognitive development as thyroid hormones play a
crucial role in orchestrating the development of the brain. EDCs include
certain pesticides, as well as some industrial chemicals used in a variety of
are exposed to EDCs via consumer products such as flame-retardants in soft
furnishings and electrical products, plastics in the lining of food cans, PVC
flooring and many cosmetics. Most of us are exposed to several EDCs at any one
time and research indicates that these exposures can ‘add up’ leading to
combined exposure effects.
Some of the most well
researched EDCs include the plasticiser bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, as
well as a wide range of pesticides and persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
such as PCBs and dioxins. The primary concern is the broad distribution of
these chemicals in our food, water and personal care products, and chronic, low-level
exposures over our entire lifespan. For example, over 95% of us are known to show
exposure to phthalates based on metabolites present in urine.
Since the Endocrine
Society’s first review 6 years ago, the group has reviewed over 1300 new
scientific articles on the subject and highlighted the main concerns in its new and second statement, referred to as
EDC-2 which was released this month. http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/er.2015-1093
concluded that there was no doubt that the EDCs had serious health
implications, including “chronic
disease burdens related to obesity, diabetes mellitus, reproduction, thyroid,
cancers, neuroendocrine and neurodevelopmental functions.”
health issues on the increase and diminishing the quality of life, in the
knowledge that the burden of EDC exposure is continuing to increase, we regard
it as imperative that steps are taken urgently to reduce exposure as well as increase
awareness of EDCs.
This petition therefore:
on the European Union (EU) and its 28 national governments to force
manufacturers of foods, beverages and cosmetics to remove all known endocrine
disrupting chemicals, and residues from them, from products as soon as
that the EU and its national governments recognise and support the tenets of
the latest statement on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC-2) by the Endocrine
be directed to the Presidents of the European Parliament, European Council,
European Commission and Council of the EU, as well as the Prime Ministers and
Ministers of Health of each national government.
petitioners advocate that all consumers should be protected from unnecessary
chemical risks and have the right to know about chemical health risks in
everyday products to which they might be exposed.
This petition was initiated by Envirohealth Matters www.envirohealthmatters.org the
Alliance for Natural Health International www.anhinternational.org and Rätten att