In an article published on October 4, 2016 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Luke Buxton reports that the Danish Consumer Council’s ‘THINK Chemicals’ program might lose its funding after April 2017. The THINK Chemicals program “conducts independent testing of products, helping consumers to avoid chemicals of concern,” Buxton writes. So far, THINK Chemicals has tested over 1,200 products for substances of concern, within 49 tests in under two years, and has also evaluated 8,500 cosmetics and personal care products. Examples of product tests include canned tomatoes (FPF reported), paper and board food packaging (FPF reported), plastic, metal, and glass drinking bottles (FPF reported), plastic food containers (FPF reported), pizza boxes (FPF reported), and microwave oven popcorn bags (FPF reported). The Danish Minister for Environment and Food does not want to prolong the program’s funding because the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing the same work, as he claims. Claus Jørgensen, senior project manager of THINK Chemicals, disagrees, seeing the program as “more of a supplement” to EPA’s efforts. Jørgensen points out that while “authorities can say certain chemicals are dangerous,” they “cannot say the name of the products in which these substances are found.” However, THINK Chemicals can do exactly this and therefore gives “consumers the choice.” Should his program be cut, Jørgensen expects “there will be a vacuum, in which consumers want information on chemicals in consumers goods, but cannot get this information at a product level.”
Buxton informs that the Danish parliament’s environment committee will debate the case this week and if no funding is granted in next year’s budget, the program will end in April 2017.
Luke Buxton (October 4, 2016). “Danish Consumer Council’s chemicals scheme faces axe.” Chemical Watch