On October 30, 2014 the news provider Newsweek published an article criticizing the lack of regulatory action on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Axel Singhofen, environment and health adviser for the Green party European Free Alliance contends that the European EDC policy has been hijacked by industry. The head of the international team of endocrinologists advising the European Commission (EC) on EDCs, Andreas Kortenkamp, asserts in the article that the toxicities of EDCs are extremely dangerous, even if there remains a lot to know about the mechanisms of individual EDCs. He thus stresses that “the only safe approach to take is one of precaution”. The original policy of the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate General (DG) for the Environment followed this guideline. However, the process was blocked by a string of industry actions, journalist Dale-Harris asserts. The industry’s anxiety over the regulation is not surprising, as 40% of the market share of pesticides could potentially be lost, according to a spokesperson for the European Crop Protection Association. If chemicals were also covered by the new transatlantic trade agreement, the precautionary approach in Europe may well become toothless David Azoulay, attorney at the Centre for International Environmental Law, concludes.
Luke Dale-Harris (October 30, 2014). “Calls to ban toxic chemicals fall on deaf ears around the world.” Newsweek.