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13 October 2017

European Parliament rejects Commission proposal on endocrine disruptors

On 4 October, the European Parliament vetoed the Commission’s proposed criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors. A significant majority of MEPs believed that these criteria contravened EU law and posed a threat to public health and the environment (389 voted in favour of rejecting the criteria, while only 235 supported the European Commission). The Commission must now go back to the drawing board and draft a replacement proposal over the next few months.

In July 2017, the Commission proposed the adoption of criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors in the context of legislation on pesticides and biocides.

Much criticism has been levelled at these criteria by scientists, environmental groups, public health organisations and trade unions, particularly as regards the exemption for pesticides specifically designed to disrupt the endocrine system.

The debate on this topic has been ongoing for several years, with the Commission securing approval for its criteria from a majority of Member States only after France’s election of President Macron. The previous French Government had rejected these criteria and called for a more ambitious policy on endocrine disruptors.

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