On January 22, 2016 the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) released a position paper on chemicals in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the EU. BEUC points out that the European regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is “the world’s most ambitious system to regulate chemicals’ risks and limit our exposure to dangerous substances.” REACH is based on the ‘precautionary principle’, where chemical manufacturers have to prove that a substance is safe before it can be placed on the market. This is also referred to as the ‘no data, no market’-principle. In the U.S., regulators have to prove that a substance poses an unreasonable risk to human health and the environment before it can be removed from the market. BEUC describes this as the ‘no data, no problem’-principle. Because of the incompatibility of these two principles, BEUC recommends excluding chemicals from the regulatory cooperation chapters of TTIP, in order to maintain the highest safety and protection standards in the EU. Ideally, “better transatlantic cooperation on chemicals management should aim to foster mutual learning and exchange of best practices” as well as “aim to improve the wellbeing of citizens on both sides of the Atlantic,” BEUC further notes. However, so far the U.S. and the EU have “failed to deliver a bold, ambitious vision for transatlantic cooperation on chemicals that would bring real benefits to consumers and the environment,” BEUC states.
BEUC (January 22, 2016). “The incompatible chemistry between the EU and the US – BEUC position on chemicals in TTIP.”
BEUC (January 22, 2016). “The incompatible chemistry between the EU and the US – BEUC position on chemicals in TTIP.” (pdf)