Widespread opposition to Commission’s proposal on endocrine disruptors
GUE/NGL MEPs have condemned the Commission’s much-awaited criteria for identification of endocrine disruptors published yesterday. The proposal has also been widely criticised by NGOs and doctors.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals widely used in industry that experts believe can increase the risk of cancer, obesity and other health problems.
The Commission’s criteria, which calls for a “science-based approach” to the identification of endocrine disruptors, set the bar so high that only a few chemicals would fall into the scope of EU regulation.
GUE/NGL MEP Anja Hazekamp warned about the consequences of the Commission’s reckless approach:
“Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that even small doses of endocrine disruptors may be harmful for human health, especially for unborn babies and children.”
“By coming up with weak and not hazard-based criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals, the Commission fails to fulfil its legal and moral obligation to protect public health, animal health and the environment.”
“The Commission is playing games with this Parliament and even worse, it is playing games with our health,” lamented the Dutch MEP.
GUE/NGL MEP Kateřina Konečná accused the Commission of lying about its adoption of the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of endocrine disruptors saying that “the WHO’s definition does not demand a proven effect on human health.”
The Commission’s proposal requires that a substance must be “known to cause” adverse health effects before it can be classified as an endocrine disruptor in contradiction with the WHO parameters.
“The Commission’s proposal ignores the precautionary principle, which has for so many years been an essential part of European health protection legislation, and puts at risk the health of European citizens,” warned the Czech MEP.
Konečná stressed that the Commission’s benchmark is vague and impossible to attain:
“The proposal doesn’t contain a specific set of scientific criteria that is appropriate for the purpose of regulatory decisions.”
“Is this the supposed result of three years of work?,” Konečná asked.
The Commission had failed since 2013 to publish the criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors, despide wide public demand, until it was forced in 2015 by the European Court of Justice to do so.
GUE/NGL MEP Lidia Senra condemned the Commission’s proposal as insufficient and called for the pressure to continue: “We must keep pushing the Commission to expand the scope for identifying endocrine disruptors in other areas such as food, packaging, toys, cosmetics and textiles.”
“It is the Commission’s responsibility to guarantee public health for European citizens. We will be alert to ensure the Commission’s decisions prioritise health and environmental protection.”