European Commission sets the stage for coherent strategy on endocrine disrupters
EU efforts to combat chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties are to include improved use of existing laws, more research and, eventually, changes to legislation.
The European Commission has adopted a Communication on a Community Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters – chemicals such as DDT, TBT and PCBs that affect the hormone systems of humans and wildlife. The EC’s Communication emphasises a need for more research and the importance of co-operating on an international level to avoid duplication.
In the short term, the EC recommends continued gathering of scientific evidence on endocrine disruption and use of existing legislation to protect human and wildlife health. The precautionary principle is presented as a potential tool. For the medium term, the EC suggests that emphasis be placed on an EU testing strategy, testing methods to be agreed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the employment of voluntary initiatives and substitutions.
Eventually, the EC foresees some “adaptation or amendment of legislation”.
Throughout, the EC recommends improved communication to the public as a way of managing citizens’ fears.
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