News 2016 / November

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Revised EDC criteria still fail to protect health and environment

The Commission has revised its criteria proposal for endocrine disruptors and the new proposal may be voted through in the standing committee for pesticides on November 18th. The proposal is not yet officially published, but ChemSec has seen a copy of it.

“There are some necessary clarifications in there, but overall the main concerns from the earlier proposal remains”, says Dr Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist. “The most severe one being the change in the pesticide derogation from exposure to risk which has been heavily criticised as it is a change outside the mandate of the Commission to make.”

The NGO coalition EDC-Free Europe, which ChemSec is part of, has identified the additional main concerns being the unreasonably high burden of proof, the discrimination against independent academic studies and the lack of categories, which would have been in line with how other chemicals are regulated.

“Another interesting change is that the earlier criticised wording ‘is known to cause’ has been changed to ‘it shows’. We see it as a positive change as the ‘known to cause’ would have set the burden of proof unrealistically high. Hopefully ‘shown’ is more workable.

The establishment of EDC criteria is first for the pesticide and the biocides regulation, but the common understanding is that they will later be introduced also into other regulations. The process has been long and controversial and the legal deadline for establishing the criteria has soon been passed by three years.