ACSH staffers offer Wall Street Journal reporter Allysia Finley a seat at the table for her piece underscoring the lack of evidence supporting the claim that phthalates and BPA have contributed to the obesity epidemic. According to Stephen Perrine and Heather Hurlock, authors of The New American Diet, “obesogenic” foods — those containing pesticides and plastics — allow our bodies to store more fat. As Ms. Finley aptly points out, however, these chemicals have been prevalent for over 50 years, while obesity did not significantly increase until about 1980.
Chemist Dr. Joe Schwarcz at McGill University’s Office for Science and Society further debunks claims that the trace levels of chemicals found in foods have an effect on obesity.
“Every day people are exposed to hundreds of thousands of natural and artificial chemicals which would show very similar effects if run through these sensitive tests,” he tells the Journal.
ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross says, “Despite scientifically sound testimonies from experts around the world, environmental crusaders continue to wage a war against chemicals. Now they’ve added Michelle Obama’s report on childhood obesity — which mentions obesogens as part of the governmental fight against obesity — as a new weapon to their arsenal. This will not help medical scientists in their complex battle against obesity, a real and deadly threat.”
“Again, this is another piece of disinformation that distracts people from the real, underlying cause of obesity — consuming more calories than you burn,” adds ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.