Objectives of Reach have not yet been achieved – MEP

19 May 2011 15:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HELSINKI (ICIS)--The objectives of the EU's Reach chemicals regulation have not been achieved and legislation needs to be more demanding of the chemical industry for things to change, Danish politician Dan Jorgensen said on Thursday.

“There is no doubt that Reach is a giant leap forward… it is probably still the most comprehensive single piece of legislation ever made in the EU, and compared to what we had before it is a major victory… but this not to say we should be satisfied,” he said.

Jorgensen, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who was speaking at the Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2011 in Finland, said the three main objectives of Reach have not been satisfied.

The objectives are to reverse the burden of proof so that is up to industry, not authorities, to find out whether or not a substance is of high concern; to make sure substances of high concern are substituted with others of less concern in order to protect human health and the environment; and to do this in a way so that there are fewer animal experiments.

Jorgensen said that the chemical industry has failed to provide enough data to comply with Reach rules. He blamed the failure on legislation rather than the industry itself and asked the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to test more data for compliance and to be more ambitious with its demands for information.

He also said that the ECHA was not using enough of its powers to ensure substances of high concern are replaced by other substances.

Jorgensen said that there are still too many tests on animals, which cost the industry a lot of money, and that there is no excuse not to use alternative methods.

He said that the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) has validated alternatives.

Jorgensen added that that it was "crazy" that many alternative methods were not being used because they were still awaiting approval from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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