Stakeholders discuss revision of strategy on endocrine disruptors
By Ophélie Spanneut | Tuesday 12 June 2012
With a view to the upcoming revision of the EU’s 1999 strategy on endocrine disruptors, the European Commission heard stakeholders’ arguments at a conference, on 11-12 June. It plans to propose criteria for identifying substances with endocrine disrupting properties.
Endocrine disruptors are suspected of interfering with the hormone system. Certain chemical substances, such as bisphenol A or phthalates are used widely in everyday products. They can potentially result in cancers, obesity, early puberty, reduced fertility, etc.
The timing of the conference suited the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), which argued that the initiatives of certain member states require special attention. France recently adopted a ban on the use of bisphenol A in food packaging, to take effect in 2014. It was preceded by Denmark, which has banned the use of bisphenol A in containers used for food for young children since 2010.
Gernot Klotz, CEFIC’s director for research and innovation, wishes to help reshape the EU strategy. He pledged to renew his sector’s support to guarantee safe management of these substances and noted that criteria for assessing endocrine disruptors must be based on robust science.
For the European Consumers’ Organisation BEUC, Sylvia Maurer noted that this matter is “urgent”. “Success will depend on political commitment.” The organisation is pressing for a horizontal approach covering different legislations.