28 March 2004 14:00 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Nordic firms are generally neutral or in favour of Europe's proposed new regulations for the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals (Reach), non governmental organisations (NGOs) claim to have established from a survey.
The NGO survey, led by the Danish Ecological Council, asked Scandinavian companies in general industry to decide their position on Reach based on one of three choices: “generally in favour”; “neutral/undecided”; and “very much against”.
According to the Council, most of those firms responding to the survey were either in favour or neutral/undecided over the proposed Reach policies produced by the European Commission (EC). Further details of the survey, include sample size, number of respondents and the percentages voting for each of the three categories were not immediately available.
The Council claims the results show a “contrast with the very defensive stance prevailing in major international organisations representing the European chemical industry”.
It added that Nordic industries are mainly downstream users of chemicals. They also consist mostly small- to medium-sized enterprises, which the Council claims would benefit from Reach because the regulations would call for chemical producers to take more responsibility in seeking information on hazardous properties and managing risk. Under the current system, that burden rests more with the downstream users, said the Council.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) welcomed the survey's findings, and repeated its frustration with the position of the chemical industry over Reach. Secretary-general John Hontelez said: “It is not credible to call [Reach] a de-industrialisation programme for Europe but not offer serious alternatives.”
The survey was undertaken through six Nordic environmental and consumer organisations, and can be found at: www.ecocouncil.dk
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