On February 2, 2016 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) shared their views on the EU court ruling in the case of Sweden vs. the European Commission (EC) regarding the scientific criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) (FPF reported). The court found the EC to have failed to fulfil its legal obligations to deliver scientific criteria for EDCs by December 2013. During the plenary debate at the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg, France, Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis of the EC’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) accepted the court ruling. However, he firmly rejected accusations of siding with industry and deliberately delaying publication of the criteria. Saying that he was “very open and very transparent”, he promised that “we are ready to do our job and present scientific criteria by this summer,” or even before. Commissioner Andriukaitis was strongly criticized by several MEPs from all major political parties for the EC’s delay in delivering the legally mandated scientific criteria on EDCs, especially since viable, science based criteria have been available since mid-2013, according to the speakers. In particular, several MEPs questioned the alleged scientific dispute on EDCs which had been given as one reason by the Commissioner for the delay. Further, MEPs stressed the huge importance of EDCs on public health and related costs, and strongly urged the EC to act rapidly and set criteria for identifying EDCs in the regulatory context.

On the occasion of the EP debate on EDCs, The Greens in the European Parliament published a news release urging the EC “to immediately remedy its failure to act by adopting the necessary measures for the determination of scientific criteria of endocrine-disrupting properties according to the draft recommendation it has held since 2013.” Also, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) published a letter to Commissioner Andriukaitis urging him “to take immediate action to ensure better protection of consumers against hormone-disrupting chemicals.”

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EP (2016). Agenda 2 February 2016.

The Greens in the European Parliament (January 29, 2016). “Public health / endocrine disrupters – When the guardian of the treaties acts as guardian of special favours to big business.

BEUC (February 2, 2016). “RE: The European Commission’s approach to chemicals which can disturb the hormonal system.(pdf)

ChemSec (February 2, 2016). “Parliament calls on Commission to comply with EU court ruling on EDC criteria.

EC (February 3, 2016). “On 2 February 2016, Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, answered an oral question in the EP on the criteria to identify endocrine disruptors.

ChemSec (February 3, 2016). “The Commission: EDC criteria in place before summer.

HEAL (February 3, 2016). “HEAL press reaction: Commission plans to present EDC criteria before the Summer 2016.