BRUCE BLUMBERG

University of California at Irvine
Blumberg is a biologist who studies hormone receptors in animal embryos. He was one of the first scientists to spot a link between endocrine-disrupting chemicals and obesity in lab animals. Blumberg coined the term "obesogens" to describe the family of chemicals that may be programming us to be fatter than we should be.

PAULA BAILLIE-HAMILTON

Visiting Fellow, Stirling University
Baillie-Hamilton is an Oxford-educated medical doctor and mother of four who lives in the small town of Callendar, Scotland. In 2002 she published an article in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine about endocrine-disrupting chemicals and the possibility they may be contributing to the worldwide obesity epidemic. She then published two books on the subject. On TV, radio and in print, Baillie-Hamilton continues to warn people of the dangers of synthetic chemicals.

ALISON HOLLOWAY

McMaster University, Hamilton
Holloway is a Canadian endocrinologist at McMaster University specializing in the fetal origins of adult diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity. She is specifically studying the effect of nicotine on rats to see how smoking, as well as the use of nicotine-laced smoking cessation products, may contribute to these two conditions.

FRED VOM SAAL

University of Missouri
Vom Saal is the leading expert on the effects on fetal development of bisphenol A, a widely-used endocrine disruptor. Vom Saal contends that doses of BPA thousands of times smaller than what industry chemists considered safe are causing reproductive abnormalities – including weight gain – in lab animals, and probably in humans. Vom Saal is a controversial figure in the world of industrial chemistry.

RETHA NEWBOLD

U.S. National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Newbold, recently retired, was one of the principal scientists studying the health effects of D.E.S., a hormone replacement drug that was linked to ovarian cancer and finally banned. When Newbold saw her lab animals were becoming fat, she turned to studying the link between the chemical and obesity. Her lab continues to study the effects of artificial estrogens on obesity.

JERRY HEINDEL

U.S. National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Heindel is program administrator in the Division of Extramural Research and Training. He's responsible for allocating federal research funds to study the effects environmental chemicals have on humans. Heindel spread the word to research institutions about the new concern over obesogens, and continues supporting and directing the research.

The Wild Canadian Year

Wild Canadian Year


Visit our website to watch the series online, discover extra behind-the-scenes stories and view Canada's nature scenes in 360. Visit Wild Canadian Year

From CBC Kids

The Nature of Thingies