The UK House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has today published the report of its inquiry on chemicals regulation after the EU referendum, which particularly focussed on the EU’s world-leading REACH system for regulating chemicals. The EAC criticise the UK Government’s lack of openness about its post-Brexit plans, and point out that most respondents want the UK to remain ‘as closely aligned to REACH as possible‘.
The EAC’s main conclusions
- The chemicals regulation framework established by the EU through REACH is difficult to transpose directly into UK law. Writing EU regulations into UK law could not be done simply by having a line in the “Great Repeal Bill” deeming REACH to apply in the UK. REACH was written from the perspective of participants being within the EU, with much of it also relating to Member State co-operation and mutual obligations, oversight and controls, and freedom of movement of products
Stéphane Horel and Brian Bienkowski, “Special report: Scientists critical of EU chemical policy have industry ties,” Environmental Health News, 23 September 2013
Seventeen scientists who have criticized plans in Europe to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals have past or current ties to regulated industries. An investigation by Environmental Health News reveals that of 18 toxicology journal editors who signed a controversial editorial, 17 have collaborated with the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, tobacco, pesticide or biotechnology industries. Some have received research funds from industry associations, while some have served as industry consultants or advisors. The stakes are high in the controversy because it involves the European Union’s strategy to regulate hormone-altering chemicals – the first attempt in the world to do so. The new rules would have sweeping, global ramifications because all companies that sell a variety of products in Europe would have to comply.
On the 29th June 2013, From Pink to Prevention organised a toxic tour in Central London. The tour took in various sites of significance in relation to cancer prevention – or rather the lack of action on cancer prevention by government offices and other bodies.
At each venue speakers addressed various aspects in relation to the total lack of action on the part of governments and the cancer establishment on the issue of the primary prevention of cancer (ie stopping it before it starts). They discussed their work on the issue and posted up Blue Plaques announcing ‘Cancer Prevention does not live here’ at each site to commemorate the visit.
Press Release, Immediate release, Alliance for Cancer Prevention, 20/2/13
WHO/UNEP strongly endorse need to regulate as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) identified as ‘global threat’.
A new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) comprehensively reviews the state of the science on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). It outlines the very serious and immediate threat to human health and wildlife from EDCs and signals the urgent need for effective regulation and testing of these chemicals.
The report estimates that as much as 24% of human diseases and disorders are due at least in part to environmental factors which include chemical exposures. “Many endocrine diseases and disorders are on the rise and the speed at which they are increasing rules out genetic factors as the sole plausible explanation”.
(Originally published on 13 June 2013 by The Collegium Ramazzini, http://www.collegiumramazzini.org/news1.asp?id=105)
The Collegium Ramazzini has sent a letter to President Barroso and Commissioners Tajani, Potočnik, and Borg urging stringent hazard-based evaluation criteria for EDCs and a precautionary approach that will protect the general population and workers against these serious hazards.
The Collegium Ramazzini, an international academy of 180 scientists from 35 countries, experts in environmental and occupational health, has released a statement calling for new ways to test chemicals and to revise current approaches to risk management.
Rising levels of cancer along with increasing brain, thyroid and reproductive problems have led an international group of scientists to call for tougher EU regulation on some chemicals used in everyday life.