S&Ds strongly criticise the Commission for delaying action on endocrine disruptors

Endocrine disruptors

Today leading S&D MEPs asked the Council to take action so that the Commission will at last deliver due legislation on ‘endocrine disruptors’; substances that can alter the functions of a person's hormone system and contribute to hormone-related disorders and diseases.

Endocrine disruptors are everywhere around us and affect people on a daily basis. Humans are exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) through contact with everyday products such as food packages, clothing, and children's toys. It is also found in drinking water.

During a debate between the European Parliament's health committee and the Greek presidency, S&D MEPs recalled that the Commission should have already published specific scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties by December 2013.

Then in January, Commission representatives announced that the development of the criteria has been further delayed for at least one year.

S&D spokesperson on health, MEP Linda McAvan, said:

“This delay in the publishing of the criteria means that there will be no EU legislation on a problem that clearly needs action to protect our citizens’ health.

“The European Parliament passed a resolution calling for action in March 2013, and the Parliament’s demands are widely supported by the scientific community and European citizens' organisations.

The S&D author of the parliamentary resolution, MEP Åsa Westlund, said:

“Naturally, we are alarmed that the European Commission seeks to escape responsibility in this way. The Commission's justification that scientific disagreement on the endocrine disruptors' effects on human health is the cause of the delays on deriving the criteria is simply not convincing.

“Independent reports such as "State of the Art of the Assessment of Endocrine Disruptors" (European Commission, 2011) and State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012 (World Health Organisation, 2013) support tangible action to derive criteria for endocrine disruptors.

“Moreover, it is hardly a secret that endocrinology experts regard the European Food Safety Authority EFSA - charged with providing the scientific criteria for the legislation - as biased and lacking in competence within the field of endocrine disruptors.”