The European Union’s admirable thrust to regulate endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as pesticides, was halted after the US cavalry rode into Brussels on June 26, 2013, carrying the Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP) flag. Documents obtained by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) show how plans to block the pesticides were halted after the meeting between US and EU officials.
The US delegation wanted to drop EU criteria for identifying Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) in order to expedite the free trade talks. EU representatives ended up pulling a draft resolution that could have banned 31 pesticides. Commissioners also suppressed another report which linked EDCs with fetal abnormalities, genital mutations, infertility, and other adverse health effects ranging from cancer to IQ loss.
The hormone-mimicking chemicals or EDCs are used in toiletries, cosmetics, medicines, plastics, and pesticides. A recent report from the Nordic Council Of Ministers estimates the health costs of EDCs will exceed €150 billion in Europe. The report only focused on “the costs for effects on male reproductive health (testicular cancer, hypospadias, cryptorchidism and infertility).” Even antiperspirants have been found to reduce male fertility by 30% in one study.
Medical research is unlikely to halt TTIP fast-tracking. Some commission members also cited lobbying pressure from Bayer, Dupont and BASF. A statement from BASF characterizes the industry’s priorities: “Bans on pesticides will restrict the free trade with agricultural products on the global level.”
Read the Guardian story here.
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