The roundtable event organised by PAN-Europe and hosted by MEP Nicola Caputo at the European Parliament on 30th of June 2015 brought together scientists and regulators to discuss the regulation of EDCs in Europe. We are very pleased with the scientific presentations that clearly explained why exposure to EDCs is a crucial issue and what elements need to be considered to regulate successfully these chemicals in the EU and protect human and environmental health. The presentations were outstanding and the debate fruitful. Please find below the links to the presentations of the speakers and video recording of the whole meeting.
Video recording of the event (youtube channel)
Presentations (pdf files)
Speech of Angeliki Lysimachou (PAN-Europe): Bringing Science at the forefront of the EDCs discussion
Session 1 - EDCs: What are they and why should we be concerned?
-Prof. Åke Bergman (The Academic Center Swetox, Sweden): Human exposure to potential EDCs, semi-persistent chemicals and in particular current-use pesticides
-Prof. Jorma Toppari (University of Turku, Finland): EDCs and male reproductive health: Why are we concerned?
-Prof. Ing-Marie Olsson (KEMI, Sweden): Cost of inaction and endocrine disruptors what do we know?
Session 2 - EDCs and risk assessment
-Prof. Ana Soto (Tufts University, Boston): Endocrine disruptors: a panoply of health effects. When is enough enough?
-Prof. Barbara Demeneix (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle/CNRS, expert OECD, Paris): Thyroid hormone disruption, brain development and IQ loss
-Hubert Deluyker and Jose Tarazona (EFSA): EFSA’s work on the assessment of endocrine active substances
Session 3 - Regulation of endocrine disrupting pesticides/biocides-update, roadmap and impact assessment
-Prof. Andreas Kortenkamp (Brunel University, London): Endocrine disrupters – impact assessment
-Michael Flueh (DG SANTE): Regulation of EDs under the PPP and BP Regulations and the ongoing impact assessment
-Bjorn Hansen (DG ENV): The Regulation of Endocrine Disruptors within REACH
Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) is an issue of concern, globally, due to the negative impacts on humans and wildlife. Exposure to these chemicals, especially during pre-natal and post-natal stages has been linked to the development of endocrine diseases and disorders of the thyroid, immune, digestive, cardiovascular, reproductive and metabolic systems (including childhood obesity and diabetes). The World Health Organization report on EDCs, published in 2013 highlights that "exposure to EDCs and their effects on human and wildlife are a global problem that will require global solutions". It also calls for an improvement of the methods used in the risk assessment of chemicals and in the evaluation of EDC exposure and health effects.
In Europe, the Pesticide Regulation approved by the European Parliament in 2009, adapted the precautionary principle approach and banned the use of endocrine disrupting substances (EDCs) in these products. In parallel, it called for the COM to present the criteria to identify EDCs by December 2013. The task was first given to the Environment Directory of the COM (DG ENV) to identify "horizontal" criteria that could also be applied in the other Chemical Regulations (Biocides, REACH, Cosmetics and Medical Devices). Following the work of endocrinology experts, DG ENV had the draft criteria ready in 2013 but they were never approved. Instead, the COM commanded for an impact assessment, gave the lead to DG SANTE and decided to miss the deadline. The impact assessment will be done on more options that the ones proposed from the endocrinologists and adapted in the draft criteria of DG ENV, including elements of traditional risk assessment that will miss to detect these chemicals. Not only we haven't progressed but we have also gone backwards, since we are discussing again what was already approved by the European Parliament and the European Council back in 2009. The "necessity" of an impact assessment has been highly criticised by the general public, politicians and scientists for being a fruit of the industry "lobbying". Not only the COM is delaying the regulation of these harmful chemicals but it may also select the wrong criteria that will fail to protect the health of our children and the future generations.
Purpose of the Event
The event, hosted by MEP Nicola Caputo and organized together with PAN Europe, aims to bring the science back in the European Parliament and give the opportunity to MEPs and participants to ask questions directly to scientific experts about EDCs and help accelerating the process of their correct regulation in the EU. We have invited professors and expert scientists in the field of endocrine disrupting research (from WHO, EEA, KEMI, Endocrine Society panels) to present the state of the science of endocrine disruptors and the criteria needed to identify these substances. The leading DGs on EDCs will be present to explain the current regulatory procedures on EDCs (criteria and impact assessment) as well as EFSA, the responsible agency for the peer review of the risk assessment of pesticides and other food residues. We will use as a reference the regulation of endocrine disrupting pesticides and biocides, but the event will cover EDCs used in all sectors for example in chemical and cosmetic industry. The MEPs and all the participants will have the chance to discuss EDCs openly with the scientists and the responsible civil servants.
Considering that exposure to EDCs is an issue of concern that has been brought to light due to the recent advances in technology and research, Pesticide Action Network Europe highlights that a collaborative action of all sectors is needed to protect our future generations. This is in line with the objectives of the new Commission: Innovation by applying the most recent advances in endocrinology, animal testing and the monitoring of environmental exposure. This will create jobs in the research and industry sectors, which will provide sustainable growth, by allowing the development without prejudicing the health of the future generations and the environmental resources.
Chairing: MEP Nicola Caputo (S&D), Henrik Sundberg (KEMI, Sweden)
General introduction: MEP Nicola Caputo
Bringing back EDCs in the European Parliament: Angeliki Lysimachou (PAN Europe)
EDCs: What are they and why should we be concerned?
Human exposure to potential EDCs, semi-persistent chemicals and current-use pesticides in particular.
Prof. Åke Bergman (The Academic Center Swetox, Sweden)
EDCs and male reproductive health – why are we concerned?
Prof. Jorma Toppari (University of Turku, Finland)
Cost of inaction and endocrine disruptors what do we know?
Ing-Marie Olsson (KEMI, Sweden)
EDCs and risk assessment
Endocrine disruptors: a panoply of health effects. When is enough enough?
Prof. Ana Soto (Tufts University, Boston)
Thyroid hormone disruption, brain development and IQ loss.
Prof. Barbara Demeneix (Muséum Nationale d'histoire Naturelle/CNRS,
expert OECD, Paris)
EFSA's work on the assessment of endocrine active substances
Hubert Deluyker (EFSA)
Discussion: Why are EDCs different than other toxic chemicals? Are current EU "safe" limits really that "safe"?
Regulation of endocrine disrupting pesticides/biocides-update, roadmap and impact assessment.
The debate about regulating endocrine disrupters
Prof. Andreas Kortenkamp (Brunel University, London)
The impact assessment for defining criteria on endocrine disruptors in the context of the plant protection products and biocidal products regulations
Michael Flueh (DG SANTE)
The regulation of endocrine disruptors within REACH
Bjorn Hansen (DG ENVI)
Panel (including speakers): Georg Streck (DG Growth), Benjamin Musall (DG Trade), Jorge Costa-David (DG EMPL)
Discussion: Why the COM decided to miss the EDC criteria deadline? Will the impact assessment protect human health and wildlife from the effects of EDCs? Is it based on scientific evidence?