Damaging EU Chemical plans Oct03

The 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.


Bashir Khanbhai, 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 EU.


"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."