At the EU Parliament Plenary Session on February 2:nd, health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis promised to deliver EDC Criteria before summer 2016. This is half a year earlier than what has previously been stated.
The speeding up of the process comes as a response to the EU Court ruling that the Commission has breached EU law by not having presented criteria on time, which was December 13, 2013. Many members of the European Parliament were very critical against the delay and the Greens required the Commission to act immediately and to accept the draft criteria, which were proposed already in 2013.
These draft criteria suggest to use the WHO/IPCS definition of EDCs and to apply categories based on weight of evidence. However, as the responsibility for the EDC Criteria were shifted within the Commission from the Directorate of Environment to the Directorate of Health and Consumers, it was decided that a major impact assessment should be performed before any criteria could be adopted. This impact assessment is currently on-going. The plan from the Commission is to still carry out this impact assessment, but to speed it up.
– Of course we welcome the speeding up of the process, as we need to act on EDCs sooner rather than later. However, it is problematic that the Commission keeps mixing science and policy by sticking to the need of a socioeconomic impact assessment in order to establish scientific EDC Criteria. This was also strongly criticised by the court, says Dr Anna Lennquist, senior Toxicologist at ChemSec. The Criteria should be set based on science only. Therefore, the added value of performing an impact assessment at this stage is very doubtful, she continues.