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Comment by Karolina Skog on the European Commission’s proposal for endocrine disruptor criteria


“My preliminary assessment is that the European Commission’s proposal for scientific criteria to identify endocrine disruptors is inadequate. Although we welcome the fact that the Commission is finally taking action after significant pressure from Sweden, this proposal is insufficient to effectively regulate endocrine disruptors and prevent damage to the environment and health,” says Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog in a comment.

"The Commission wants to impose very strict criteria for defining what can be deemed to be an endocrine disruptor, and I am concerned that the proposed criteria will not be able to prevent damage to the environment and to people's health, which is the actual intent of the legislation.

"In the worst case scenario, we will primarily be able to regulate after the fact any endocrine disruptors that have already proven to cause serious damage. This is not compatible with the legislator's intentions or the precautionary principle.

"At the Environmental Council meeting on Monday 20 June, I will therefore put questions to the Commission to obtain further clarity concerning the meaning and function of the proposal," says Ms Skog.

Sweden has long demanded that the European Commission must present scientific criteria to define endocrine disruptors. Establishing scientifically based criteria is crucial to being able to regulate the use of endocrine disruptors, which are currently used in a considerable number of products. But to date, the Commission has failed to produce this scientific basis. Sweden therefore brought an action against the Commission in 2014, and in December 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Sweden's favour.