Advocacy in Action

December 02, 2022

Endocrine Society Brings Voice of Science and Health to United Nations Plastics Treaty Meeting

This week, Endocrine Society members Drs. Marina Fernandez and Leonardo Trasande attended the first meeting of the International Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution. The meeting, convened as part of the United Nations Environment Programme in Punta del Este, Uruguay, provided the first opportunity for member states and non-governmental organizations to lay the framework for a global treaty to reduce plastic pollution. Our statements during the plenary sessions and contributions to ancillary meetings emphasized that the treaty should be recognized as a global public health treaty and an opportunity to reduce exposures to hazardous endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in plastics.  We encouraged participants to consider, as negotiations proceed, developing milestones that target reductions in plastic production and longitudinal scientific assessments of the body burden of chemicals in plastics, with particular attention to workers and communities with disproportionate exposures.  We also stressed our ability to provide scientific and technical expertise to all member states, given our members’ unique knowledge of the health effects of chemicals in plastics.  The INC process will take place through 2024. As an accredited organization with UNEP, the Endocrine Society will continue to have a leading voice in explaining the hazards of chemicals in plastics and help ensure that the treaty will achieve important public health goals.

Image Dr. Leo Trasande delivers a statement to the INC focused on ways to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the Plastics Treaty and enhance scientific and technical cooperation and coordination.

The Endocrine Society releases joint statement with European Society of Endocrinology on extensive science describing hazards of Bisphenol A

The Endocrine Society (ES), in collaboration with the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), published a joint statement to reiterate the extensive scientific evidence of the harmful effects of Bisphenol A (BPA). The science is abundant and clear: BPA, including at low concentrations or in combination with other chemicals as a mixture, is harmful for human, animal, and ecological health. The statement was directed to the European Food Safety Agency and relevant EU-level policymakers, urging them to adopt the draft revised Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) for BPA, reducing allowable levels of BPA by over 100,000. Our statement also aimed to clarify any misunderstandings arising from the European Commission’s 4th EDC Forum’s session on BPA on September 22, where the scope of the presentations did not entirely reflect the breadth of science describing the impact of BPA on human and ecological health. Both ES and ESE continue to use their platforms to advocate for enhanced regulatory measures to remove hazardous bisphenols from consumer products.

Society Continues Dialogue with White House COVID-19 Response Team

This week, the Endocrine Society met for a second time with the White House COVID response team to discuss the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The conversation focused on the effectiveness of the different COVID-19 therapeutics and the Administration’s effort to raise awareness of these therapeutics. We talked about ways that the Administration and medical organizations can work together to conduct outreach and educate the public to ensure that people are taking steps to prevent and treat COVID-19. Dr. Varsha Vimalananda represented the Society at the meeting and discussed the need to educate patients about the efficacy of the new vaccine booster against new COVID-19 variants. In the coming months we will continue to build our relationship with the White House to help address this public health issue.

Society Urges Congress and White House to Make Obesity Treatment and Prevention a Priority

This week, the Society shared important educational information about the latest science on obesity being conducted by our members with congressional offices. This included abstracts from two scientific studies: one about the association between food insecurity and obesity and one about the effectiveness of anti-obesity medication. Several congressional staff responded and asked to be notified of any developments with these studies. In early 2023, we will disseminate an updated version of our “Obesity Playbook” to Congressional staff. The “Obesity Playbook” will be a will be a go-to resource for Congressional staff looking for a “101” education on this important topic.

Next week, the Society will meet with the White House Domestic Policy Council to discuss their effort to implement their National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. In September, the White House unveiled a national strategy to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 at a National Conference on Hunger and Nutrition. Prior to the conference, the Society urged President Biden to support obesity prevention programs and expanding access to obesity treatment for Medicare beneficiaries. We will share an update with our members about the outcome of this meeting.

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For 100 years, the Endocrine Society has been at the forefront of hormone science and public health. Read about our history and how we continue to serve the endocrine community.