Ahead of a vote today in the European Parliament, Greens are urging MEPs to vote down criteria for identifying endocrine disrupting chemicals. Last week MEPs on the Parliament’s Environment Committee backed a Green objection to the criteria on the basis that they would make it very difficult to identify endocrine disrupters and therefore few if any products containing the chemicals would be removed from the market.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that are present in a wide range of everyday products – from plastics and cosmetics to pesticides. They are known to interfere with hormonal systems and affect tissue and organ development and hence are linked to human diseases including cancer and infertility.
Earlier this year three respected international scientific societies concluded that “the criteria will not be effective in protecting public health”. However, MEPs have become the target of intensive lobbying by large chemical corporations and industry-linked scientists and the criteria based on recommendations by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety claim to have found a ‘middle way’ between ‘diverging views’ within the scientific community.
“It is essential that MEPs stand up for the health of their constituents and resist the power of the chemical industry lobby. The flawed criteria proposed by the Commission would allow our environment and our bodies to continue to be contaminated by these harmful chemicals.
“There can be no middle way on this. When comparing the findings of scientists with strong industry links to independent scientists from societies specialising in endocrine disruption, it is clear who we must listen to.”