On June 29, 2020, the European Parliament (EP) announced that its Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee voted to adopt a resolution requesting the European Commission (EC) “to come up with a new chemicals strategy for sustainability that effectively ensures a high level of protection of health and the environment, minimizing exposure to hazardous chemicals.” It is reported to specifically call for resulting regulation to (i) protect vulnerable populations, (ii) “fully reflect the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays principle,” (iii) be transparent, (iv) and encourage development of safe and sustainable alternatives. Regarding food contact materials (FCMs), the resolution calls for a “comprehensive framework” to address and minimize human and environmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and to treat them in legislation like substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction (CMR). It also calls for addressing harmful chemicals in recycled products and to apply the same rules to both new and recycled materials.

Non-governmental organization Health and Environmental Alliance (HEAL) wrote a letter to members of the ENVI committee on June 23, 2020, ahead of the vote requesting them to support a number of amendments in the draft version of the resolution and not support others. Natacha Cingotti from HEAL commented on this outcome “the proposed resolution provides a strong basis for a health-first approach in the Parliament position towards the future European chemicals strategy. In order to live up to Europe’s Zero Pollution ambition, we call on MEPs to support this proposal at the next plenary voting and to keep the European Commission and Member States accountable all throughout their mandate.”

The resolution will now need to be adopted by the Plenary of the EP, and it will then serve as the EP’s input into the development of the chemicals strategy. A public consultation on the roadmap for the EC’s chemical strategy closed on June 20, 2020 (FPF reported).

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EP (June 29, 2020). “MEPs call on EU Commission to step up action against dangerous chemicals.”

HEAL (June 30, 2020). “European Parliament environment committee demands a health-first approach to EU chemicals strategy.”

Clelia Oziel (June 30, 2020). “Envi passes resolution on Commission’s new chemicals strategy.” Chemical Watch

Anna Watson (June 30, 2020). “Better protection from hazardous chemicals: actions needed in Europe’s new strategy.” Chem Trust