The Commission’s latest proposal for identifying and outlawing endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is illegal, according to analysis from ClientEarth.
In saying that only EDCs known to harm people should be outlawed, it is ignoring the Biocides Products Regulation and Plant Protection Products Regulation. These two laws require that substances presumed to cause harm are outlawed.
ClientEarth Lawyer Vito Buonsante said: “The Commission’s proposal turns people into guinea pigs. The level of evidence needed to prove a chemical is an endocrine disruptor will require harm to have already happened.
“The proposal hugely weakens protection of people and the environment. It will require such a high burden of proof to ban a chemical that EU citizens and the environment will likely continue to be exposed for several decades before action is taken.”
How does the Commission endocrine disruptor plan deal with risk?
The Commission’s proposal also changes the way risks are managed, allowing EDC use to continue unless it can be proved that the risks are not negligible. This changes the mechanism for approving dangerous chemicals, and is an approach which has already been clearly rejected by Parliament and Council.
Such a significant change in the law requires renegotiation between the European Parliament and Council. If the Commission forces through its proposals, the European Court of Justice can throw them out, on the grounds that the Commission has overstepped its competence.