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Science Policy

The EUs system for regulating chemicals, REACH, came into force 10 years ago, on the 1st June 2007. It aimed to gather reliable safety data on chemicals that are used in Europe, and to control those with problems, substituting them with safer alternatives. It was one of the most complex and controversial regulatory proposals that [...]

The UK House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has today published the report of its inquiry on chemicals regulation after the EU referendum, which particularly focussed on the EU's world-leading REACH system for regulating chemicals. The EAC criticise the UK Government's lack of openness about its post-Brexit plans, and point out that most respondents want the [...]

Following on from a very critical report by the European Parliament, the European Commission has finally announced that it will review the laws regulating the chemicals allowed in food contact materials such as packaging. They have also published a detailed study showing the extent of the problems caused by the lack of adequate EU rules covering food [...]

How safe is our seafood?

Our oceans and seas have been polluted over time with a number of contaminants, from litter and plastic waste to an array of man-made chemicals which have caused numerous problems for many wildlife species. So considering these pollutants, how safe is the fish, shellfish and other seafood we eat? Globally over 1 billion people rely on [...]

In recent weeks the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics has expressed their concerns about the impact of exposure to toxic chemicals on reproduction and development, while scientists from the Endocrine Society have re-affirmed their concerns about endocrine (or hormone) disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Meanwhile, the authors of an important WHO/UNEP report on EDCs have rebutted criticism, while [...]

CHEM Trust have written to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to ask them why they misrepresented the results of their risk assessment of the commonly used hormone disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA). The risk assessment, published in January, concluded that there was a 'low health concern' from exposure to bisphenol A - yet the EFSA [...]

At the start of December I gave a short presentation at the health session of the EEB's 40th Anniversary conference. It was based around three themes: the need to ensure pollution is part of discussions on the environment (rather than just climate, resource efficiency and biodiversity) the need to focus on increasing wellbeing in the jobs, growth & [...]

A new report  “Chemical conflicts”, from Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) - who specialise in exposing corporate lobbying - finds that two-thirds of scientists advising the EU on controversial substances have industry links. CEO looked at four recent case studies of chemicals that had been examined by the European Commission’s Scientific Committees: parabens, nano titanium dioxide, nano-silver and [...]