Environmental Health News discusses the dangers of opinion masquerading as fact in science journals: Jerrold J. Heindel. A call for unbiased, honest science in peer-reviewed journals.
An article written by a group of 19 toxicologists has been published verbatim in eight toxicology journals in the last four months.
The article is titled, “Human exposure to synthetic endocrine disrupting chemicals (S-EDCs) is generally negligible as compared to natural compounds with higher or comparable endocrine activity. How to evaluate the risk of the S-EDCs?”
It was published in Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, Elsevier; Chemico-Biological Interactions, Elsevier; Food and Chemical Toxicology, Elsevier; Toxicology Letters, Elsevier; Toxicology in Vitro, Elsevier; Computational Toxicology, Elsevier; Archives of Toxicology, Springer; and Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A, Taylor Francis.
From the title, one might believe this is an important and original article, or an in-depth review in the field of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Such chemicals are the focus of much research as they interfere with normal hormone function and are thereby linked to a wide variety of human diseases, including infertility, endocrine cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes, learning disorders and immune problems.
However, their article is neither important nor original. It is not an in-depth review.
It is an opinion piece.
The authors decided their opinion was so important to the field that it must be published in multiple journals at once. But important to what field?
The focus of the article is on endocrine-disrupting chemicals, so one might think it was written by experts on such compounds.
None of the authors are endocrinologists or biologists who study endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
They are all toxicologists, and none has “hands on” expertise in the endocrine-disrupting chemical field.