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Conflict of Interest in American Academy of Pediatrics Report
Date:2/4/2008

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana Fails to Disclose Political Activism

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Responding to today's publication of a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on infant exposure to phthalates, the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) today criticized the report as a document motivated more by politics than actual science. In addition to the report "conveniently" omitting well-known scientific risk assessments on phthalates exposure, the AAP deliberately excludes information regarding the author's political activism and apparent bias.

The report, entitled "Baby Care Products: Possible Sources of Infant Phthalate Exposure," was authored by Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana.

Phthalates are used as softeners in PVC (poly vinyl chloride) and have been used safely for more than 50 years. There is no scientific evidence of human toxicity or harm from phthalates, despite political special interest groups' aggressive efforts to ban phthalates in several states.

While there are numerous questions about the methodology and the assumptions made in Dr. Sathyanarayana's study, CFIF is most concerned about her failure to disclose her leadership role in an organization working to ban the use of phthalates.

"Dr. Sathyanarayana has every right to participate in the public policy debate," said Timothy Lee, CFIF's Director of Legal and Public Affairs. "However, she should disclose those activities and beliefs in scientific journals and reports that involve the campaigns of the organizations she leads."

Dr. Sathyanarayana is a board member of the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (WPSR), an organization that, in their words, "embraces the precautionary principle as the basis of our approach to the human and environmental health." That may seem reasonable unless you are familiar with the true meaning of the principle.

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SOURCE Center for Individual Freedom
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