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Delays are wasting opportunities for prevention of chronic disease and healthcare savings

Fifteen EDC-Free Europe campaigners presented José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President, with a huge EDC-Free poster today in an urgent call for action on endocrine disrupting chemicals.

13.11.2013 |EDC Free Coalition




EDC-Free Europe presented José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission with a huge EDC-Free poster today © DE RIBAUCOURT PHOTOGRAPHY .

Fifteen banner-carrying EDC-Free Europe campaigners handed José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission a colourful collage of photos sent in by citizens and groups from across Europe illustrating concerns about just how pervasive endocrine disrupting chemicals may be in everyday products and our lives. The event took place Wednesday, 13 November at 8.30 am outside the European Commission building at Schuman.

The photos are arranged in a visual image portraying President Barroso making an “all OK” sign – in the hope that he will respond positively in supporting urgent action on EDCs to reduce human exposure, particularly in products used by the most vulnerable, such as babies and pregnant women.

The EDC-Free Europe coalition, made up of 50 partners representing hundreds of EU citizens’ organizations, has integrated dozens of photos from campaign activities across Europe into a poster portraying Barroso. They are calling on him to quickly bring forward delayed EDC policy proposals to better protect people’s health and prevent chronic diseases. The chronic disease associated with EDCs is a leading public health challenge and drain on the economy.



The campaign action today reiterates a call made in a letter to Barroso in May this year. The letter called for an end to delays in regulatory action on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), and immediate action to reduce people’s exposure.  The groups say that postponed decisions will unnecessarily prolong people’s exposure to these chemicals. Low-level, everyday exposures to EDCs disturb the human hormone system and have been linked to many serious chronic diseases that are increasing in incidence in Europe, such as breast cancer.

“It was democratically agreed by the European Parliament that scientific criteria for EDCs would be set by December this year. The European Commission’s recent decision to launch an impact assessment on criteria ignores the December deadline. Since when do scientific criteria get set by impact assessments? This move ignores the public will and goes against scientific recommendation,” says Lisette van Vliet, HEAL, one of the campaign partners in the coalition.

Scientists actively engaged in endocrine disruptor research made their position on the need for urgent action very clear earlier this year. In May 2013, 89 leading public health scientists from around the world signed the Berlaymont Declaration on endocrine disruptors, which calls on the European Commission to act. They list EDC-related conditions as infertility, congenital malformations (and testicular cancer), breast cancer, prostate cancer, ADHD, obesity and diabetes, amongst others.
Industry arguments, rather than scientific criteria to protect EU citizens from harmful EDCs, may be at the heart of why the decisions are being delayed.

You can download the full press release from the coalition here




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