On March 7, 2016 the non-profit organization International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) published a short commentary on the EU Environment Council meeting held on March 4, 2016. In particular, they pointed out that a statement made by all EU Member States’ Ministers of Environment called for “urgent action” to finalize the establishment of science-based criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) (FPF reported).

This view was supported by European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis (Directorate-General of Health & Food Safety) who at the meeting’s press conference again confirmed the Commission’s intention to present draft criteria before summer 2016 (FPF reported). He also said that these criteria will be based on the definition by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as the impact assessment (soon to be finalized) and “all scientific reports.” When asked about the possibility to adopt the 2013 draft criteria, Andriukaitis pointed out that these were “only draft and much disputed.”

Following his colleague, European Commissioner Karminu Vella (Directorate-General of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) then stated that potency will “of course” be included in the proposed criteria. In particular, he pointed out that “we do not ban substances, we ban the use of substances in the EU.”

Commenting on this in ChemSec’s article, toxicologist Dr. Anna Lennquist of ChemSec, expresses the hope that Vella’s words represented his own opinion and not that of the Commission. She expects that the Commission will indeed look at “all scientific reports,” as announced. “If doing so it should be obvious that potency should not be part of the scientific criteria,” says Lennquist.

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ChemSec (March 7, 2016). “Commissioner Vella says EDC criteria will “of course” include potency.

Council of the European Union (March 4, 2016). “Environment Council, 04/03/2016. Main results.

Geraint Roberts (March 8, 2016). “Member states criticise Commission for EDC criteria delay.Chemical Watch