The European Commission has been forced to make a U-turn on its controversial decision to identify resorcinol as an SVHC after finding that it had misinterpreted the outcome of a vote by EU member states, which had delivered a split verdict and not an endorsement of the draft Regulation as initially understood.
According to Commission sources, the EU executive is rethinking the way forward for its intention to add the endocrine disrupting chemical to the REACH candidate list. It had declared victory over the issue in February after a long battle with industry and some member states that disputed the scientific evidence behind the move.
The vote by the REACH Committee, finalised in January through a written procedure, was deemed “positive” even though those in favour – 19 countries – represented 54% of the EU’s population, short of the 65% threshold required for a qualified majority vote.
It was passed on the basis that only three member states were against, fewer than the minimum four that constitute a ‘blocking minority’ under Article 16 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).
The Commission subsequently corrected the voting outcome to “no opinion” after it received legal advice that it had misinterpreted the applicable voting rules, the sources said. An industry task force had also questioned the Commission’s initial judgement of the outcome.
The substance – a high-volume compound used to make tyres, rubber products, adhesives and industrial resins, as well as some cosmetics and medical products – is the first to be identified as an SVHC because of its thyroid-disrupting effects in humans.
Chemical Watch, 13-05-22