02 April 2004 18:58 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) voiced support Friday for Bush administration challenges to the proposed European "Reach" program for chemicals testing and accused House Democrats of ignoring US interests.
The European Commission's (EC) draft program for registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals (Reach) has come under widespread criticism in Europe and elsewhere and has been questioned by the Bush administration.
A US House minority report issued yesterday by Democrats on the Government Reform Committee accuses the White House of trying to block the Reach program "at the request of US chemical industry." The minority report was prepared at the request of Representative Henry Waxman (Democrat-California), a committee member.
The Waxman report draws on a September 2003 study by the Environmental Health Fund and details cables and memoranda from the US State Department, the US Trade Representative, the Commerce Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to argue that the US chemical industry "succeeded in using its access and influence to persuade the [Bush] Administration to intervene to weaken a major environmental initiative in Europe."
In a statement made available today, the ACC charged that Waxman is ignoring the interests of his constituents and American workers and instead is advancing "conspiracy theories hatched by anti-industry activitsts."
ACC said that Waxman's report uses "innuendo" to obscure "the US government's legitimate and wholly appropriate role in raising questions about the global impoact of Reach."
ACC noted that the Reach proposal will be discussed later this month at a US-EU chemicals conference hosted by the EPA.
The ACC is headquartered at Arlington, Virginia.
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