Damaging EU Chemical plans Oct03
European Commission today presented its plans for a new European chemicals
policy. The legislation has
been scaled down from the original proposals, but will still cost the
industry billions of pounds.
The legislation would oblige Chemical companies
to subject each chemical substance, used in everything from fertilisers to
cosmetics, to official screenings before they can be licensed for use.
Conservative MEP for the East of England, speaking on the BBC World
Service today said:
"1.7 million people are currently
employed in the chemical industry in Europe.
If adopted, these proposals will severely disadvantage EU companies in the global market.
The cost to industry has been estimated at £6
billion which would lead to huge job
losses as companies would quit the EU for more business friendly
climes. It is irrational as we would
still import finished goods containing untested chemicals from outside the
"The testing of these chemicals
will also lead to the unnecessary suffering of up to 10 million laboratory
animals as some
of the proposals include specific requirements for animal tests.
The majority of chemicals are safe and
beneficial - the Commission should be prioritising its testing programme
to ensure that it focuses on those that could be dangerous and hazardous
to human health. As they stand, these proposals could lead to bureaucracy
rather than additional protection."