In an article published on December 12, 2016 by news provider EurActiv, editor James Crisp informs that the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, met with ambassadors from the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay on July 13, 2016 to discuss the trade implications of the European Commission’s (EC) proposed criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the field of plant protection products and biocides. The EC first proposed draft EDC criteria in June 2016 (FPF reported) and released revised draft criteria in November 2016 (FPF reported). According to Crisp, the U.S. and Canada criticized the EU’s precautionary hazard-based evaluation approach for EDCs, expressing concern about the criteria’s “impact on import tolerances” and claiming that the EU was “moving away from scientific risk assessment and thus breaching” World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations. The EC addressed these concerns by referring to two derogations in the legislation requiring the EDC criteria (Plant Protection Products Regulation (PPPR) and Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR)). One being the maximum residual levels (MRLs) of pesticides in agricultural goods for which a risk-based approach, favored by the U.S. and Canada, is foreseen.

Crisp notes that the EU has recently finalized a free trade agreement with Canada (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA) and is negotiating a similar trade deal with the U.S. (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP). Also, the EU seeks to enter a trade agreement with the Mercosur trading bloc, including Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. In an article published in November 2016 by the French newspaper Le Monde, investigative journalist Stephane Horel reported on the influence of the U.S., along with other countries and industry organizations, on the EU’s regulation of EDCs (FPF reported).

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James Crisp (December 12, 2016). “New endocrine disruptor rules address your trade concerns, EU tells US, Canada.EurActiv