Report on public consultation on defining criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Protection Product Regulation and Biocidal Products

On 22 July 2015, the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety published a report on the public consultation on defining criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Protection Product Regulation and Biocidal Products. The public consultation on defining criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the context of the implementation of the plant protection products regulation and the biocidal products regulation took place from 26 September 2014 to 16 January 2015 by on-line consultation questionnaire. The public consultation generated over 27 000 responses which illustrates the significant public interest in the EU endocrine disruptors policy. Respondents came from various parts of society. Individual responses (as opposed to responses of behalf of organisations) accounted for more than 90% of the responses received. Of these individual responses, 88% came from seven Member States (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). 863 responses were made on behalf of an organisation and 64% of these came from one Member State (United Kingdom). Almost 26% of the responses on behalf of an organisation came from of industry or trade organisations and 5% from consumer/non-governmental organisations. Only two health institution and hospitals responded. Three EU-governments as well as 18 authorities have sent comments. Six public authorities and six governments from non-EU countries gave their comments. The objective of this consultation was to gather information for the impact assessment on the establishment of criteria to identify endocrine disruptors. This objective was reached as there were many respondents that provided information. The public consultation generated a great deal of data consisting of scientific articles, studies, reports, views and legal opinions. The opinions of respondents varied significantly on the options for criteria for determination of endocrine disrupting properties (options 1-2-3-4) and for approaches to regulatory decision making (options A-B-C). The public consultation report provides an overview on the submitted arguments by respondents in favour and against the options as included in the roadmap. In general, respondents expressed diverging views on how to define criteria and how endocrine disruptors should be regulated. Overall, responses suggested that there is a need for the EU to establish definitive criteria by the European Union for endocrine disruptors. Option 1 (no policy change, the interim criteria set in the plant protection products and biocidal products regulations continue to apply) is not therefore supported by the consultation. Many respondents raised issues in relation to food safety, the threat that endocrine disrupting substances might pose to human health and/or the environment and the impact of the different options proposed in the roadmap on agriculture, industry, health and environment. In particular farmers and agri-business highlighted the potential high implications of setting criteria to identify endocrine disruptors on agriculture. Authorities from non-EU countries stressed the potential impact on trade. A risk-based approach for regulating endocrine disruptors was proposed by many respondents who identified themselves as farmers, private companies, industrial or trade organisations, or authorities in non-EU countries. Many respondents supported the use of the WHO/IPC 2002 definition as a starting point for defining an endocrine disruptor. Authorities in non-EU countries noted that any decision on endocrine disruptors must respect the principles of the World Trade Organisation. The public consultation provided an overview on the type and size of impacts that may occur if a chemical would be identified as an endocrine disruptor, the methodologies that may be used to obtain this type of information and also data and references to studies and articles to be considered in the impact assessment. The outcome of the public consultation provided useful input for impact assessment process that addresses the economic, environmental and health impacts of the different policy options. A copy of the report is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/health/endocrine_disruptors/docs/2015_public_consultation_report_en.pdf. ~sEuropa, 22 July 2015

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