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MEPs’ pressure Commission to act on EU court ruling on endocrine disruptors

Press Release

Wednesday 3 Feb 2016

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, urged the European Commission to come to terms with the European Court of Justice judgement which held the EU executive in breach of EU law over its failure to set standards to determine whether substances disrupt the normal functioning of human hormones.

Chemicals found in pesticides and everyday items such as food containers, cosmetics or items of clothing can contain endocrine disrupting components that harm human health and the environment.

Ms. Childers was speaking from Strasbourg, where MEPs confronted the Commission over the December ruling, given its failure, over a number of years, to meet deadlines enshrined in EU legislation passed by Parliament and the Member States.

Ms. Childers said:

“Since the December court ruling, we have been awaiting a signal from the Commission in recognition of its failure to put a system in place to protect our citizens’ health by identifying and banning or limiting, to the fullest extent possible, substances that disturb our endocrine systems.

“Because these are hazardous at very low levels of exposure, we can’t simply draw safe levels of exposure, as we do with other kinds of chemicals.

“The Commission had a proposal ready almost three years ago, based on independent expert input, which would have seen light within the deadlines we mandated.

“Instead, the chemical lobby’s version about costs and risks to crop yields caught the then Secretary-General Catherine Day, based on impact assessments from the UK and Teagasc, the Irish agriculture and food development authority.

“Her decisions have brought action to a screeching bureaucratic halt, and it’s time President Junker, act upon the court’s decisions and remedy this hazardous legacy of Ms. Day’s.”