In an article published on April 24, 2018 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Vanessa Zainzinger informed that the European Commission (EC) “has officially adopted the revised criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in plant protection products.” In December 2017, the EU’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SC-PAFF) voted in favor of these criteria (FPF reported). During the subsequent scrutiny period, which ended on April 9, 2018, no objections were raised by the European Parliament or Council. Now, the EDC criteria for pesticides will apply from November 10, 2018. For biocides, similar EDC identification criteria have already been adopted in 2017 (FPF reported), and will apply from June 7, 2018.

The EDC identification criteria have been criticized by both industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on consumer protection. For example, the European Crop Protection Association would have liked to see the potency consideration included, while NGO Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is “skeptical” about the “high burden of proof” required by the criteria.

HEAL is also critical of the draft technical guidance for implementing the EDC criteria in practice (FPF reported), published in January 2018 and expected to be finalized this summer. HEAL wants the final guidance to extend its coverage currently limited to only estrogen, androgen, thyroid, and steroidogenic (EATS) endocrine disrupting properties, and also “to acknowledge that multiple modes of action can contribute to a single adverse effect.” Natacha Cingotti, health and chemicals policy officer at HEAL, also said that “the current mode of action analysis, which is not part of the requirements of the criteria themselves, is too burdensome and should not be required.” Furthermore, the timeline for future revisions of the guidance document should be explicitly stated in order to ensure “that new scientific knowledge and advances on testing guidelines can be included.”

Following the EDC criteria adoption in the EU, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) “has turned its focus onto extending the criteria’s reach beyond biocides and pesticides,” Zainzinger said. Pelle Moos, safety and health policy officer at BEUC, proposes “to work in other areas, such as toys, food packing and cosmetics” and calls on the EC “to develop an ambitious response to minimize consumers’ exposure to endocrine disruptors.”

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Vanessa Zainzinger (April 25, 2018). “EU adopts EDC criteria for plant protection products.Chemical Watch