PAN Europe (Pesticide Action Network) starts a court case against the decision of EU Commission to authorize the chemical Prochloraz. This chemical is known for its endocrine disrupting properties but Commission chose to completely disregard all the evidence from available scientific studies on endocrine disrupting effects for humans and granted Prochloraz 10 years of market access.
Prochloraz is a fungicide approved for a wide variety of crops in the European Union. Evidence about its negatives effects has already been presented by a large number of scientific studies. These adverse effects include the feminisation of male offspring and sexual malformations. The unborn are especially vulnerable to this type of chemicals. Indeed, exposure during key stages of development in the womb can lead to behavioural effects in later life. Despite these alarming effects, prochloraz was eventually re-approved by the EU Commission in the late 2011 after a very short withdrawal. But Commission did not consider the available evidence regarding human exposure at all.
In December 2011, PAN Europe sent a request to the Commission for an internal review of the approval. Commission according to the rules has to consider current scientific knowledge and ensure harmful effects on humans are prevented. After a negative decision of Commission on 9th March 2012, PAN Europe's lawyer Mr. J. Rutteman now sends our appeal to Luxembourg court.
While the Commission has to come up with criteria for endocrine disruption by the end of 2013, this type of chemicals is still marketed. PAN Europe believes that people in Europe should be protected against the adverse effects of such chemicals in the meantime and that no endocrine disrupting pesticides should therefore be allowed on the market.
Prochloraz is also part of the “re-submission” regime of Commission in order to escape from the usual stricter testing protocols. A report by PAN on the flaws of this regime was just published end of March (link: PAN report Resubmission).
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Notes for journalists
1 Anne Marie Vinggaard, Ulla Hass, Majken Dalgaard, Helle Raun Andersen, Eva Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Sofie Christiansen, Peter Laier and Mette Erecius Poulsen, Prochloraz: an imidazole fungicide with multiple mechanisms of action, international journal of andrology ISSN 0105-6263 PAN Europe - Prochloraz application annulment Ares
For further information please contact:
Isabelle Pinzauti/ Lucie Daniel, Pesticide Action Network Europe, Tel: +32 2503 0837, E-mail: lucie [at] pan-europe.info, isabelle [at] pan-europe.info