Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, together with a cross-party bloc of European Parliamentarians, called the European Commission before Parliament, this evening, to answer for its stalling of regulation banning a number of harmful chemical substances.
Speaking from Strasbourg ahead of the debate, Ms. Childers, one of the co-signatories of a question on the Commission’s foot dragging on endocrine disrupting chemicals, said:
“These substances are globally recognised threats to public health and the environment. Pesticides and biocides are a major and widely propagated source of endocrine disrupting chemicals that become part of our food chain.
“They cause a whole range of diseases, some chronic, others life-threatening – such as hormonal cancers, and yet others that entail lifelong consequences, such as learning disabilities
“This is the unequivocal view on UN bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the UN Environmental Programme.
“Yet, even though a majority of MEPs and Member States agreed on the need to phase out the use of these kinds of pesticides back in 2011, they all remain in use because the Commission, who is in charge of adopting criteria to classify this kind of hazardous chemicals, has stalled on the matter.
“The Commission has instead decided to prepare a redundant impact assessment. This kind of procrastination is very valuable to the chemical industries that sell such products but quite useless and dangerous to our health.
“We already have strong, scientifically solid criteria that are validated by the World Health Organisation and used for the purposes of identifying chemical substances that cause a range of health problems.
“Banning these is all the more urgent given that very small amounts of these chemicals suffice to seriously disturb the normal functioning of hormones in our bodies.
“The Commission had a legal deadline, which expired at the end of 2013, to define which chemicals qualify as endocrine disruptors according to sound scientific criteria.
“Instead it was circumvented by a strategically timed impact assessment that is not only poorly framed in terms of economic costs, but serves the industry’s interest in profiting from inaction.
“This is unacceptable and the Commission must answer for it.”
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The Oral Question for debate can be accessed through the link below: