Identifying Endocrine Disruptors: Parliament Blocks Plans Exempting Some Pesticides

The European Parliament recently blocked an EU Commission proposal which would have exempted some chemicals in pesticides from being identified as endocrine disruptors. Members of the European Parliament say that the Commission exceeded its mandate by proposing to exempt substances which are actually designed to attack an organism’s endocrine system, e.g. in pests, from the identification criteria. The European Commission will therefore have to draft a new version of the text, taking into account Parliament’s input.

EU legislation requires that pesticides or biocide substances have no endocrine-disrupting effects on other species than the ones targeted. To apply this legislation, the EU needs a list of scientific criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors, which is a first step towards measures reducing their presence and protecting citizens’ health. The European Court of Justice ruled in December 2015 that the EU Commission had breached EU law by failing to publish criteria for determining endocrine disrupters due at the end of 2013. MEPs have repeatedly urged the EU to clamp down on the substances. Meanwhile, the Commission has issued a statement on this veto.

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