In an article published on July 19, 2018, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) informed about a “proposal by the European Commission [(EC)] to change the conditions that would allow derogations from the ban of endocrine disruptors planned under the pesticide legislation.” According to the article published by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe on July 18, 2018, this proposal was presented at the meeting of the Standing Committee of Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SC-PAFF) that took place on July 19-20, 2018 in Brussels.
HEAL explains that, following the adoption of criteria for identification of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) (FPF reported), it has become “technically possible . . . to ban pesticides that meet the criteria.” However, pesticide regulation foresees a derogation to such bans in the case of a “negligible exposure,” i.e., in “conditions in which the exposure is well controlled such as in closed systems.” Now, the EC’s proposal is suggesting to change the derogation conditions from “negligible exposure” to “negligible risk.”
HEAL comments that “this slight change of wording . . . carries the potential to change the hazard-based approach that lies at the foundation of the pesticide legislation,” thus introducing a risk assessment component in the process. However, risk assessment for EDCs is “based on the flawed idea that safe conditions and levels of exposure exist for EDCs and the risk related to this exposure can be controlled,” HEAL emphasizes. Furthermore, the process of risk assessment will result in big delays in pesticide evaluation and “is even more worrying as the data used to assess supposedly negligible risks will be prepared by companies.” Therefore, the EC-proposed change “should be opposed at all costs,” HEAL concludes.
In addition, HEAL criticizes that the EC “is suggesting a discussion on this proposal behind closed doors” and instead calls for “a fully transparent process involving the European Parliament and the Council.”
PAN Europe (July 18, 2018). “The collapse of the Endocrine Disruptors’ policy: Commission’s ultimate gift to the pesticide industry.”
PAN Europe (July 2018). “Briefing on negligible risk amendment.”
EC (July 20, 2018). “DRAFT Commission Regulation (EU) …/… of XXX amending points 3.6.5 and 3.8.2 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 taking into account current scientific and technical knowledge.” (pdf)