The European Commission has just concluded a public consultation to gather the views of stakeholders on setting detailed criteria for determining what substances will be considered as endocrine disruptors. The input received during the consultation will be used as part of an impact assessment to evaluate different policy options.
“As one of many important stakeholders in this debate, Europe’s crop protection industry takes the issue of endocrine disruptors seriously,” said Jean-Charles Bocquet, Director General of the European Crop Protection Association. “We are committed to protecting human health and the environment. In the coming months we welcome a vigorous, informative and reasonable public dialogue to fully consider the consequences of the criteria for endocrine disruptors.”
The criteria will be used in sector-specific legislation, such as for general chemicals, biocides and pesticides. The application of these criteria could have significant implications for consumers, agriculture and trade. That is why the public consultation is so vital to the process.
“Our position – which we made clear in our response to the public consultation – is that the EU’s criteria should evaluate substances based on risk assessment, considering both hazard and exposure, and that the final criteria should clearly distinguish those substances that are of high regulatory concern from those that are not,” said Bocquet.
The ECPA response argues that that evaluating and regulating substances with endocrine disrupting properties can be done using full risk assessment, where both hazard and exposure are considered in regulatory decision making. While this is also the conclusion reached by the EFSA Scientific Committee in their Scientific Opinion published in March 2014, this important policy option has been omitted from the options in the EU public consultation.
Of the four policy options offered in the Commission’s consultation, Option 4 comes closest to ECPA’s view that all elements of hazard characterisation should be incorporated into the criteria. These elements are essential to ensure all relevant scientific information is taken into account in reaching informed regulatory decisions. ECPA opposes Option 3, the establishment of categories for endocrine disruptors.