On July 7, 2017, the European Commission (EC) published an extract from the summary report of the 4 July 2017 meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, where Member States (MS) voted on the endocrine disruptor identification criteria for pesticides (FPF reported). The published text includes two declarations made by several MS.

The declaration by Denmark and Sweden (who voted against the proposal) maintained that the proposed criteria require “an unprecedented high level of evidence to identify endocrine disruptors compared to other problematic substances.” These two countries further stated that the criteria “do not properly reflect today’s scientific knowledge on endocrine disruptors” and “fail to meet the level of protection foreseen by the co-legislators.”

The declaration by Germany (who voted in favor of the proposal), referring to controversial substances with intended endocrine mode of action in target organisms (e.g. moulting inhibitors in insects), pointed out that “selectively acting substances reduce the exposure to far more unspecific insecticides and can be of advantage to human health and the ecosystem.”

Following the vote, the French government “has promised tougher national controls on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs),” and said that it “will pass national bans on EDCs as soon as their hazardous nature is established,” as editor Vanessa Zainzinger summarized in her article published on July 6, 2017 by Chemical Watch. France voted in favor of the EC’s proposal for EDC criteria, but in return secured several additional ‘concessions’ by the EC. These included the EC’s promise to start working “on an EU-wide strategy to minimize consumer exposure to EDCs in toys, cosmetics and food packaging,” announced in the EC’s press release on July 4, 2017.

In a statement published on July 7, 2017, the Endocrine Society said that it is “extremely concerned that the criteria will fail to identify EDCs that are currently causing human harm and will not secure a high level of health and environmental protection,” and encouraged the European Parliament to “gather input from endocrine scientists and professional endocrine associations during their deliberations.” The society further called for “transparency on how the contributions from endocrine scientists will be given due consideration in the process.”

Read more

EC (July 7, 2017). “Extract from the summary report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 4 July 2017.” (pdf)

Vanessa Zainzinger (July 6, 2017). “France vows to clamp down on EDCs with national bans.Chemical Watch

Endocrine Society (July 7, 2017). “Society urges EU Parliament to be transparent around EDC criteria.