Letters: ‘This piece is so unbalanced’

Maybe you should look at (in “Silencing Science,” June 1, 2013) the pharmacokinetic data from the National Center for Toxicological Analysis, which appears to have convinced the Silent Spring Institute that BPA does not present an estrogenic threat to mothers or infants. Or the EPA’s “state of the science” report on non-monotonic dose responses in endocrine disruption, compiled by dozens of experts which pretty much contradicts Laura Vandenberg’s paper. Vandenberg has been a post doc for a long time, by the way, which is not quite the same as a fellow. Certainly, pay attention to the slew of FDA and EPA studies that utterly contradict the “non outliers” (sic) in your piece and that are all coming out in the next few weeks. This piece is so unbalanced it actually mirrors the flaws it indicts.
—Trevor Butterworth, Brooklyn, New York

Lou Dubose responds: If BPA is not a health threat to infants, why did the FDA ban its use in baby bottles and sippy cups? By the way, Tufts lists Vandenberg as a “postdoctoral fellow.” While a “post doc” since 2008, she has published more than 25 papers in peer-reviewed journals. A literature survey on which she was lead author in 2009 has been cited in 150 peer-reviewed journals. She leaves Tufts to accept a faculty position at U. Mass Amherst next year. The non-monotonic dose controversy will be sorted out by scientists. What is settled is that BPA mimics natural estrogen. Except, as Frederick vom Saal established, BPA bypasses a sequestering protein that regulates natural estrogen. Few outside the plastic industry make the case for the daily consumption of artificial estrogen leaching from food and water containers.