Sep. 29, 2015
CropLife International has released its Policy Perspective on Endocrine Disruptors
which demonstrates that current crop protection product regulations ensure high levels of protection for human health and the environment. This includes regulatory testing for endocrine-mediated effects that are scientifically strong and sufficient to support regulatory decision-making. The report has been released as the crop protection industry takes part in the fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management in Geneva.
"The continued protection of human health and the environment results from science- and risk-based policymaking," said Howard Minigh, President and CEO of CropLife International. "Using hazard-based decision-making fails to take into account all relevant scientific data and does not provide a rational basis for regulatory decision-making."
CropLife International believes sound policy decisions on endocrine disruptors must be based on the following considerations: whether a chemical has endocrine-related activity; how it relates to realistic levels and means of exposure to the chemical; whether this exposure produces adverse effects via an endocrine mechanism; and finally, what steps may be needed to manage possible risks.
"Ultimately, the ability of farmers to produce abundant, high-quality food relies on science-based, predictable and relevant regulation in all countries around the world," said Minigh. "If inappropriate regulation on such products is adopted, there could be serious negative effects on food quality and security, farming, commodity trading and national economies without improving the protection of human health and the environment."
Crop protection products and human health have been examined in well-conducted epidemiological studies, with most focusing on farmers and agricultural workers as this group is typically most exposed. It is important to note that the weight of this significant body of scientific literature does not show that crop protection products are associated with human disease - this includes studies on endocrine-related cancers. In fact, the most consistent finding across the largest epidemiological studies on farmers and agricultural workers is that this group is healthier than the general population.
The crop protection industry is calling for a transparent process to set policy on endocrine active substances and endocrine disruptors, including employing best practices for data collection and evaluation, involving experts with recognized experience and varying perspectives, and ensuring that a clear weight-of-evidence framework is used to objectively determine cause and effect. The industry welcomes constructive dialogue to assess any gaps in scientific knowledge and to promote a better understanding of all scientific views on endocrine disruption.