Friday 25 February 2011

Out of Boston - a 40th Anniversary

On February 18, 2011, WCVB-TV Boston's newsmagazine Chronicle interviewed longtime DES activist/DES historian Andrea Goldstein, DES Daughter and Wonder Drug screenwriter Caitlin McCarthy, and DES researcher Dr. Julie Palmer for its segment on DES (diethylstilbestrol). DES is a toxic and carcinogenic synthetic estrogen that was prescribed to millions of pregnant women for decades because drug companies claimed it prevented miscarriages and problem pregnancies, even though no controlled studies were ever conducted to determine the effectiveness or safety of DES for use in pregnancy. As early as 1938, studies showed that DES promoted cancer in lab animals, and as early as 1953, research revealed DES did not work - that DES actually brought about higher rates of premature birth and infant mortality - yet DES continued to be prescribed to pregnant women for decades because the drug was a top moneymaker for drug companies. Doctors at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital discovered the DES cancer link and published their findings in the April 1971 issue of New England Journal of Medicine . However, the FDA did not issue a *warning* about DES until November 1971; the FDA *did not ban* DES for human use. DES was contraindicated for pregnancy by the FDA in 1972. 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the DES cancer link being made.

See the WCVB-TV Boston segment about DES:

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