“Tässä työssä auttaa, että on pienenä ihaillut Peppi Pitkätossua.”

Pro-industry MEPs vote to cripple chemicals laws

THE GREENS/EFA IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
PRESS RELEASE – Brussels, 13 September 2005

Toxicity tests stripped from REACH proposal:
Pro-industry MEPs vote to cripple chemicals laws

A coalition of pro-industry MEPs from the European Parliament’s three main political groups today managed to convince a strong majority of the Parliament’s industry committee to cripple a proposed new chemicals law. The new legislation is urgently needed to protect human health and the environment so as to reduce risk of cancer, birth defects and environmental damage. Members of the socialist, conservative and liberal groups voted to reduce data requirements for chemical substances across the board and weakened the provisions for authorisation of substances of the highest concern, effectively eliminating or weakening key pillars of the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals (REACH) legislation. The committee was voting on its opinion on the regulation.

Reacting to the vote Satu Hassi, Finnish Green member of the committee, said:

“I am shocked to see how the majority of the Industry Committee could ignore the need to protect human health and instead to follow the line of the ‘cancer lobby’. It is no surprise that the German conservative Werner Langen and socialist Erika Mann exclusively pushed the industry line, but it is shocking to see Mann’s socialist colleagues following her line – which runs contrary to her group’s overall position.”

“The fundamental principle of ‘no data, no market’ has become ‘no data, no worries.’ For 20,000 substances that fall under REACH, industry will only have to provide the information they currently have – rewarding those who have behaved irresponsibly in the past and failed to test the chemicals they sell. Eight important tests have been eliminated on purely economic grounds for another 5,000 substances, leaving workers and consumers potentially unprotected against substances that could be mutagenic or toxic to reproduction. And for the little testing that remains, industry can ask for wide-ranging waivers. The chemicals industry can be proud of their loyal MEPs for effectively demolishing testing requirements.”

“If the opinion of the Industry committee was the final result, REACH would be reduced to a chaotic and reduced ‘à la carte’ system instead of specifying clear legal requirements. Most companies that buy from manufacturers to produce consumer articles would continue to be ignorant about the risk of the chemicals they are using and how to protect their workers and clients.”

“The committee went on to attack the scope of the regulation, voted to give ‘carte blanche’ to research and development without any controls, and to reduce the scope of substances that fall under authorisation. And the combination of completely overloading the agency with extra tasks and at the same time cutting its funding
seems like a cynical recipe for disaster. I only hope that the socialist group will continue to support the very different and balanced approach that their rapporteur takes in the environment committee. I also hope that the liberal group will reflect on its position and take seriously the need to improve health protection for workers and consumers and protect the environment.”