Two articles published on August 20 and August 27, 2015, respectively, by the non-profit organization International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) discuss the potential effects of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the EU on the regulation of chemicals and measures on toxic chemicals in particular. TTIP is a “regulatory agreement aimed at reducing regulatory differences between the U.S. and EU” to achieve economic benefits, ChemSec writes. The differences in chemicals regulation in the U.S. and EU are vast. The European regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is based on the precautionary principle and “allows EU authorities to regulate a chemical substance even in the case of scientific uncertainty”. In the U.S., sufficient scientific evidence of harmful effects is required before a chemical can be regulated. Chemical manufacturers have used TTIP to lobby against the progress of stricter measures on toxic substances, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), in the EU, ChemSec explains. According to the European Commission (EC), the chemical industry is expected to be the second largest beneficiary of TTIP. Further, the U.S. Congress proposed bills to reform U.S. chemicals regulations in a way that would not converge with the more protective EU laws, ChemSec notes. The NGO fears that TTIP will “create new opportunities to weaken, slow or stop the development and implementation of stronger rules for toxic chemicals on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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ChemSec (August 27, 2015). “Why EU’s and US new trade deal threatens progressive business.

ChemSec (August 20, 2015). “TTIP concerns EurEau, urges EU to preserve progressive chemicals regulation.