The Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) has submitted an open letter to Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy Toni Borg in which it criticizes the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) definition of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) as presented in the recently published scientific opinion (see FPF news article). In its scientific opinion on EDCs, EFSA made a distinction between endocrine active substances (EAS) and EDCs, claiming that interaction with the endocrine system does not need to be adverse. This new definition allows for the European Commission to regulate EAS differently from EDCs, which were defined under the European Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) legislation.
Pan Europe criticizes that this allows taking a hazard and exposure based approach, rather than one exclusively based on hazard, as was suggested in a recently published opinion of the European Parliament [see FPF news article]. The NGO argues that this new definition opens a loophole for industry if it wants to avoid the ban of a pesticide or biocide, and that instead it should be considered to ban all pesticides which were found to have endocrine disrupting properties.