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HEAL joins calls for France to maintain its leadership on endocrine disrupting chemicals

Press statement

Brussels, 19 June 2013 – The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) has joined French civil society organisations in calling on France to maintain its leadership for better regulation on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). (1)

Twenty-seven not-for-profit organisations in France have declared the start of their mass mobilisation today to coincide with the fifth and final meeting of the stakeholders in the National Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors (SNPE) in France.

The groups have published a manifesto (2) and public petition (3) calling on the French government to adopt an ambitious strategy to reduce exposure of populations and ecosystems to endocrine disruptors. The signatories comprise a diverse coalition of French civil society groups, including environmental groups, health insurance bodies, patients groups, consumers, unions and women’s groups.

Progress in negotiations within the National Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors (SNPE) in France appears to be stalling or even receding, according to the press release to launch the campaign. (1) Implementation of the labelling requirement from the existing law on bisphenol A in food packaging does not seem to be taking place, and the anticipated measures on phthalates, which was promised by the environment minister Delphine Batho, has not happened. (1)

“HEAL is today urging France to stay the course and ensure that it carry its positions into the EU realm. So far, France has shown good leadership on the regulation of EDCs at home, and we hope that they will also take these lead positions in the relevant EU decision making processes, including on criteria to identify EDCs, future EDC strategy, and how REACH treats EDCs,” says Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Adviser, Health and Environment Alliance.

In recent months, two important statements from scientific experts have urged action on EDCs to protect public health. In May, the world’s leading experts published the Berlaymont Declaration, which pointed to the high or increasing levels of endocrine-related conditions in Europe. (4) This month, 180 leading scientists at the Collegium Ramazzini published their statement urging action on endocrine-disrupting chemicals. (5)

Equally or more important was the publication of the recent joint report by the World Health Organization and United Nations Environment Programme United for the Environment on EDCs. (6) Although WHO is traditionally cautious on scientific issues in which there is controversy, it has deemed EDCs a global threat which need to be resolved.

Yannick Vicaire from Reseau Environnement Sante in France notes that French mobilisation is contributing to - and complementing - a European-wide EDC Free campaign (7) in which several French civil society groups are founding members. “It is high time that EU decision makers hear from the wider pan European public - we will no longer tolerate this ongoing contamination of our bodies and our environment with these poisonous hormone disruptors. We want real action now that ensures healthy future,” he says.

Contacts

Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Advisor, HEAL, lisette@env-health.org Tel: +32 2 234 36 45. Mobile: +32 484 614 528

Yannick Vicaire, Réseau Environnement Santé, + 33 6 08 75 50 15, res.yvicaire@gmail.com

Diana Smith, Communications, HEAL, +33 1 55 25 25 84, diana@env-health.org

Notes

1. Press release can be found below in French and English

2. Manifesto: Perturbateurs endocriniens : le temps de l’action http://www.stop-aux-pe.org/manifeste-des-associations.html

3. Public petition: Ensemble contre les PE : http://www.stop-aux-pe.org and petition on Change.org at: http://www.change.org/StopPE

4. Berlaymont Declaration, http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/300200/The_Berlaymont_Declaration_on_Endocrine_Disrupters.pdf

5. The Collegium Ramazzini releases an official position on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) and Chemicals Safety Policy in the EU, 13 June 2013, http://collegiumramazzini.org/

6. WHO/UNEP report http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/endocrine/en/

7. EDC Free website www.edc-free-europe.org


Press release in French here
Press release in English here

Last updated on 20 June 2013

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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