On June 15, 2016 the European Commission (EC) proposed criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the field of plant protection products and biocides (FPF reported).

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) “welcomes the Commission’s new criteria for endocrine disruptors as it strengthens the Agency’s ongoing efforts to have the most suitable risk management measures in place for all hazardous substances on the market.”

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also welcomes the EDC criteria proposed by the EC and highlights that the criteria incorporate the recommendations of the scientific consensus reached at an EDC expert workshop hosted by the BfR in April, 2016 (FPF reported).

The industry groups European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), together with Plastics Europe and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) stated that “the WHO/IPCS definition alone is not suitable for distinguishing between those substances that are of high concern and those that are not” and the groups are “disappointed that we still do not have a set of scientific criteria that are suitable for the purposes of regulatory decision making.”

Several non-profit organizations also voiced their opinions:

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) judged that the “proposed criteria place an unacceptably high burden of proof on evidence to identify substances as endocrine disruptors” and thus “fail to protect Europeans from exposure” to EDCs.

The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe also expressed disappointment with the EC warning that the chosen criteria “will effectively result in no single endocrine disrupting pesticide being banned.”

CHEM Trust is “shocked by the proposal, which in effect means that there must almost certainly be harm to humans before a chemical can be identified as human EDC.”

The International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) points out that “while the legal text in the Plant Protection Products regulation says that chemicals that ‘may cause adverse effect’ should be regulated, the criteria text states that chemicals ‘known to cause an adverse effect’ should be covered.” According to Anna Lennquist, toxicologist at ChemSec, “such criteria will fail to protect human health.”

The Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) called the EC’s EDC criteria “worse than expected,” stating that the criteria “stipulate an impossibly high burden of proof prior to any potential ban of chemicals acting as endocrine disruptors.”

Lastly, the scientific expert organization Endocrine Society expressed its disappointment and concern that “the European Commission’s regulatory criteria are too strict to effectively protect the public from endocrine-disrupting chemicals.”

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ECHA (June 15, 2016). “New criteria for endocrine disruptors announced.

BfR (June 17, 2016). “BfR begrüßt wissenschaftliche Kriterien der EU-Kommission für die Identifizierung endokriner Disruptoren.(in German)

Cefic (June 15, 2016). “Joint industry statement examines EU Commission’s proposal on endocrine disruptors.

HEAL (June 15, 2016). “Europe’s opportunity to stop hormone disruption crushed.

HEAL (June 14, 2016). “Anti-EDC campaigners are bubbling up with determination.

PAN Europe (June 15, 2016). “EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis decides to leave Europeans unprotected from endocrine disrupting pesticides.

CHEM Trust (June 15, 2016). “Commission proposal on EDC criteria means human harm almost certainly needed before action.

ChemSec (June 15, 2016). “Presented draft EDC criteria will fail to prevent harm.

CEO (June 16, 2016). “Worse than expected: Commission criteria for endocrine disruptors won’t protect human health.

Endocrine Society (June 15, 2016). “European Commission’s overreaching decision fails to protect public health.

Endocrine Society (June 13, 2016). “Endocrine Society experts urge EU to protect public from chemical exposure.