GUE/NGL
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Commission must stand up to chemical lobby and ban dangerous EDCs

GUE/NGL MEPs have called for the publication of a suppressed-Commission report that concluded 31 endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) should be banned because of their potential risk to public health.

Speaking in a plenary debate yesterday evening, Irish MEP Lynn Boylan said:

“According to leaks from within the European Commission, we know that a paper was due to propose criteria for the categorisation of EDCs which would have led to an EU ban on a range of hazardous substances. But, once again, amid heavy lobbying from the chemical industry which stands to lose big profits if these chemicals were banned, the report has mysteriously yet to surface.

“Instead what we hear is that the Commission plans to publish an impact assessment in 2016. It's disheartening to hear yet another story of the Commission bending to its corporate bedfellows, instead of implementing rigorous regulation to protect consumers and the environment. There is no excuse for any delay. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support the immediate suspension of the use of certain harmful substances and it's a view which is also held by certain influential member states.

“EDCs have been linked to a wide range of diseases and conditions such as foetal abnormalities, infertility, autism, diabetes, and hormonal cancers. This Frankenstein list of health costs is only compounded when we consider the staggering economic cost of EDC exposure. Given that EDCs are used routinely in everyday household items such as toiletries, cosmetics, food containers, and plastics – as well as in pesticides, it is extremely urgent that the precautionary principle is upheld and that the Commission rethinks its plans to postpone action.”

Dutch Anja Hazekamp said: “This looks like the kind of sordid cover-up that would have prompted a motion of no confidence if it was happening in national politics. The European Commission has supressed an important report, a report that concludes that 31 types of agricultural poison could and should be banned. These EDCs that are used to spray fruit and vegetables represent enormous risks.

“People, animals, and the environment are being literally poisoned. Bee populations are disappearing, bird populations are shrinking, and frogs are being exterminated. But apparently these objections were outweighed by the billions of profit made by chemical companies.

“This industry lobby has so much influence that the very top echelons of the European Commission kept back publication of this report. The Commission needs to prove that it puts environmental and health concerns before commercial ones.

“We call on the Commission to immediately publish this report.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group