EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis decides to leave Europeans unprotected from endocrine disrupting pesticides

Commissioner Andriukaitis' choice for option 2 of the EU 2014-Roadmap already would lead to banning only a few pesticides, Impact endocrine criteria - PAN Europe, but by changing on top of this the legal text and the derogation from negligible exposure to negligible risk (option B of roadmap) zero endocrine disrupting (ED) pesticides will be banned. The change of the derogation is a violation of EU law and of democratically agreed rules with the EU Parliament.

The words of EU Commission Chair Juncker stating that the choice "ensures the highest level of protection" is purely misleading. There cannot be any other conclusion but that Commission lets the interests of trade and industry prevail over the interests of the public and fails to reduce the millions of health costs and the suffering of people in Europe due to endocrine related diseases. PAN Europe urges the EU Parliament and EU member states to block the choice made by the Commissioners and the change of the derogation which is beyond their legal power.

It is also sad to note that testing of chemicals for endocrine disruption is only foreseen in "mid-term".  This again shows that in spite of all nice words of the Commissioners, endocrine disruption is not considered a serious health concern.

Not banning ALL EDCs is illegal:

The Pesticide Regulation (PPPR 1107/2009) is a consensus between the European Parliament, European Council and the Commission. Its provisions are underpinned by the precautionary principle to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment and particularly protect vulnerable groups of the population, including pregnant women, infants and children. These groups are particularly vulnerable to the exposure to Endocrine disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) as any hormonal alterations during these sensitive periods of life could lead to permanent disorders and diseases such as reproductive failure, reproductive organ deformities and cancer, diminished fertility, metabolic disorders (e.g. obesity and diabetes), immune dysfunction, cognitive impairment (e.g. autism, iodine deficiency) among others.

Originally, the Pesticide Regulation (Annex II; 3.6.5 and 3.7) required that a pesticide active ingredient can be approved if it is not considered to have endocrine disrupting properties that may cause adverse effects on humans (3.6.5) and non-target organisms (3.7) unless the exposure is negligible (used in close systems, no contact with humans or non-target organisms).“May cause adverse effects” would mean that both categories of well known EDCs and potential EDCs had to be banned to protect human and animal health and the environment. This has also been the scientific advice of several endocrinologists and the Endocrine Society and reflects our current knowledge on how the endocrine system functions. But the Health Commissioner dismissed all the advice from the experts in the field of endocrine disruption, removed the word „may” from tehe legal text and in addition decided to require mechanistic information on how the adverse effects are being produced, something that has never been required so far in the assessment of chemicals. This is unacceptable as one would expect that the Health Commission would give a priority in protecting human health than the industry’s interests. Today it’s a sad day for science. 


Contact: Angeliki Lysimachou, Environmental Toxicologist/Scientists +32 496 392930


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