The Alliance joined with over 65 organisations from the EDC-Free Europe Coalition to call on President Juncker and the EU College of Commissioners to make the right decision to protect us from Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) on the 15th June.
We are expecting President Juncker and his colleagues in the EU Commission to uphold obligations and lead the EU to a healthier and more environmentally sustainable future. The obligation of the EU Commission is to now decide on scientific criteria by which endocrine disrupting properties can be IDENTIFIED. This means any potential text changes beyond pure identification, such as potency or ‘hazard characterisation’ (see letter), would change the balance which the law strikes between protection of human/animal health/environment and the internal market and would be unacceptable and illegal, as per the EU court of justice ruling in December 2015.
The pesticides and biocides laws set out strict controls for EDCs and chemicals that cause cancer, change DNA and harm reproduction. But these laws still allow continued use if needed when there are no safer alternatives, so claims of major agricultural and economic disruption must be treated with caution.
At the same time, the societal impacts of health problems arising from EDCs are typically underestimated. Scientific studies show that these chemicals are very likely contributing to the increases in hormone-related diseases such as breast or testicular cancer, fertility problems, diabetes and obesity as well as learning and behavioural problems in children.
In addition to the suffering of individuals and their families, these life threatening diseases come with a cost to Europe’s health systems and worker productivity, estimated in the billions annually for just a few of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals assessed. A recent study on the “Health costs that may be associated with Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals” found that when looking at only five potentially EDC-health related effects “according to currently available literature, the socio-economic burden for the EU may be substantial, ranging between 46 – 288 billion EUR per year”.
The letter calls on those making this important decision to instill confidence in European citizens by upholding the treaty and laws and to choose a path which triggers innovation and protects health at the same time. Moving us to an environmentally sustainable, healthy, and economically vigorous future requires taking effective steps: choosing the right EDC identification criteria is one of those, and will substantially contribute to the goal of the EU’s 7th Environmental Action Programme to minimise exposure to EDCs.
Download the letter here
For more information on the campaign see here.