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Endocrine disruptors: a report that marks an important moment!

Brussels, 27 February 2014 - The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) has joined French member NGOs, Générations Futures (GF) and Réseau Environnement Santé (RES) in welcoming a report [1] from the French parliament’s Committee on European Affairs which focuses on the European Strategy on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). The report’s findings call on the French government and EU to react urgently on EDCs.

GF and RES have welcomed the report and particularly the work of rapporteur, French MP Jean-Louis Roumégas, who presented the report’s findings to a press conference at the National Assembly in Paris on Wednesday, 26 February. The two associations have singled out a number of points.

Key points

  • The report recalls the important public health challenge posed by EDCs, and the considerable financial costs involved in not taking public policy action in this area.
  • It calls on Europe to quickly publish a new, comprehensive strategy on EDCs to boost public action in this area.
  • It recognises the specific modes of action of EDCs - and thus the new scientific and regulatory paradigms that need to be adopted.
  • It considers it vital that the EU rapidly adopts a single definition of EDCs based on the criteria of “intrinsic hazard” and not based on the notion of potency as has been put forward by industry.
  • It recommends creating a distinct classification for EDCs which includes both proven and suspected endocrine disruptors.
  • It advocates the adoption of a specific European text on EDCs, which would build on the new classification and would be orientated towards reducing population exposure to these substances.
  • It emphasises the need for increased research on EDCs.
  • It emphasises that, far from inhibiting innovation, precautionary action on EDCs would instead stimulate research and industrial innovation to the benefit of European companies.
  • It calls for the setting up a programme of biomonitoring for populations and ecosystems.
  • It calls on the French government to produce a National Strategy on EDCs (Stratégie Nationale sur les PE - SNPE) which has strict demands. In particular, SNPE should rule out the possibility that France might request a review of the criteria for exclusion of EDC pesticides (SNPE section C.2.2).

Expectations in France

In the light of these important points, GF and RES call on the French government to respond urgently to the issue of EDCs. France should again display its leadership in Europe on this issue - as it did in relation to the issue of bisphenol A.

The two main demands:

  • France must act as an example to others by quickly publishing an SNPE that has real ambition, including a clear abandonment of any attempt to revise the criteria for the exclusion of EDC pesticides.
  • France must intervene urgently to remove any obstacles to action resulting from groups exerting industrial pressure (such lobbying is highlighted in the parliamentary report) so that a protective definition of EDCs is finally taken by the EU. The EU should then quickly create the new category of EDCs, which will be progressively implemented at Community level in an across-the-board legislative approach.

Support at European level

HEAL also welcomes this report and supports its members’ demands to the French government and the EU.

Genon K. Jensen, HEAL Executive Director says: “We call on the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barosso and his team to deliver the new EU EDC strategy as soon as possible. Postponing its publication until the new Commission would indicate to European citizens that bureaucratic procedures are more important than their health and the prevention of chronic diseases. To reduce unnecessary health problems and healthcare costs, we need swift progress on EDC policy so as to start reducing people’s daily exposures to chemicals linked to chronic disease.”

The original press release in French is available as a pdf here

Press contacts

François Veillerette, spokesperson GF: + 33 6 81 64 65 58
André Cicolella , spokesperson RES : + 33 6 35 57 16 82
Genon K. Jensen, spokesperson HEAL: +32 495 808 732

[1] Information submitted by the French parliament’s European Affairs Committee on the European strategy for endocrine disrupters and presented by Jean-Louis Roumégas MP at press conference in the French National Assembly, 26 February 2014.

Last updated on 6 March 2014

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