On June 17, 2014 the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment (DG Envi) and Directorate General for Health and Consumer (DG SANCO) published their long awaited draft roadmap for “Defining criteria for identifying Endocrine Disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Protection Product Regulation and Biocidal Products Regulation” (pdf). The roadmap follows the Commission’s announcement for an impact assessment (FPF previously reported), which is to precede the final publication of criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs); the latter has been delayed since December 2013.
The newly published roadmap is a draft document that will be open for public consultation. Therein, the Commission lays out how it intends to proceed with setting criteria for EDCs, addressing two key problems: firstly the identification of operational criteria allowing for science-based regulatory decision making, and secondly the development of criteria that lend themselves to “horizontal” application in different areas of legislation, beyond the regulations for biocides and pesticides.
Four different options for criteria setting are described, ranging from accepting the interim criteria, over hazard-based approaches to a risk-based approach which would also include the issue of potency. In addition, three different options for regulatory decision making are detailed, laying out in what cases EDCs would be allowed to remain on the market.
Public interest groups like Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe have published comments on the Commission’s roadmap, criticizing the overall “risk-based” approach that would make actual human exposure highly relevant and permit regulatory decisions based on socio-economic impact. However, according to PAN Europe, based on the available scientific evidence, a hazard-based approach is advisable, where any substance with endocrine disrupting properties shall be banned from production or use. On the other hand, industry groups like the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) have advocated for a risk-based approach.
European Commission (June 17, 2014). “Roadmap. Defining criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Product Regulation and Biocidal Products Regulation.” (pdf)
Pesticide Action Network Europe (online June 18, 2014). “Endocrine disruption criteria update: a roadmap to nowhere.“
European Crop Protection Association (online April 7, 2014). “ECPA’s position on the criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties under Regulation 1107/2009.” (pdf)
FPF article “EC misses EDC criteria deadline“