Category Archives: News

Anti-EDC Campaigners Are Bubbling Up With Determination

Say “No” to hormone disruption, say “Yes” to citizens’ wishes

Partners in the EDC-Free coalition gathered outside the European Commission building at Berlaymont in Brussels on Monday, 13 June. They called for more attention to be given to citizens’ wishes and independent science in EU decisions on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

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Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Adviser at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), calls on European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his 27 Commissions to protect health from exposure to hormone, or endocrine, disrupting chemicals, which are found in everyday products.

The EDC-Free coalition anticipates that the Commission will come forward with its proposal on the scientific criteria for identifying EDCs on Wednesday, 15 June. HEAL’s Lisette van Vliet is ready to answer questions on the citizens’ perspective and issue a call to action on EDCs. She says: “There exists a scientific consensus on how best to identify these harmful chemicals.  We want the EU to choose the best criteria and make the best use of the science to distinguish between them. This means sticking with the successful practice used to rank other harmful chemicals (1) into at least three categories.”

She will also talk about the recent vote in the European Parliament which overwhelmingly condemned the Commission for its failure to comply with the original deadline and thus with the EU Treaty. Sweden, working with several other Member State governments, the European Parliament and the European Council took the Commission to court and won. The European court judgement made clear that the impact assessment can have no bearing on the decision about which scientific identification criteria are chosen.

On June 20, the Council of Environment Ministers will discuss the EDCs criteria. (2)

The health costs of diseases associated with exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, including infertility and male reproductive dysfunctions, female reproductive problems (endometriosis and uterine fibroids), birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurobehavioral and learning disorders, have been estimated at 158.4 billion Euros per year in the EU. (3)

Contacts:
Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Adviser, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Mobile: +32 484 614 528, Email: lisette@env-health.org

Lucy Mathieson, Communications Manager, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Mobile: +32 470 84 75 73, Email: lucy@env-health.org

Notes for journalists:

  1. Carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxicants 
  2. The discussion in the Council was requested by France, which has a strong position on the criteria. (France had also joined Sweden in the court case.) Once the criteria have been endorsed by the EU Commissioners, the Commission must submit them to a standing committee on pesticides, and the Commission has also chosen to consult an expert group on biocides, probably in early July.  The subsequent text would then be presented to Parliament and Council for approval or rejection, before returning to the Commission for final publication (or for the whole process to be re-started).
  3. Two recent studies have analysed the economic impact that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals may be having on health.  The first estimated costs at 157 billion Euros a year (taking into account impacts on infertility and male reproductive dysfunctions, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurobehavioral and learning disorders associated with certain endocrine disrupting chemicals) see http://press.endocrine.org/doi/10.1210/jc.2014-4324. The second estimated costs associated with two female reproductive health conditions, endometriosis and uterine fibroids attributable to certain EDCs, at 1.4 billion Euros per year. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Mar 22. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-2873. See https://www.endocrine.org/news-room

EDC-Free Coalition Letter to Head of European Commission

8 June 2016

To: President Jean-Claude Juncker, Head of the European Commission
CC: EU Commissioners, EU Environment Ministers, and EU Health Ministers

Dear President Juncker,

On 15 June, you and the EU College of Commissioners will be taking a major decision on the criteria to identify Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). We write to you about this decision as representatives of society, and members of 70 organisations from the EDC-Free Europe coalition across the EU and beyond.  Our public interest groups include public health and cancer prevention advocates, health care professionals, consumers, farmers, and environment and health organisations.

We are expecting from you and your colleagues that:

  1. The EU Commission will uphold its obligations under specific EU laws and under the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU;
  2. The EU Commission will take up the best available scientific evidence, and;
  3. The EU Commission will think and act effectively to move the EU into a more dynamic, innovative, healthy and environmentally sustainable industrial and agricultural future.

a)   Will the EU Commission uphold its obligations under the TFEU and under 1107/2009 and 528/2012?

The obligation of the EU Commission is to now decide on scientific criteria by which endocrine disrupting properties can be IDENTIFIED.  This means any potential text changes beyond pure identification, such as potency or ‘hazard characterisation(see below), would change the balance which the law strikes between protection of human/animal health/environment and the internal market and would be unacceptable and illegal, as per the EU court of justice ruling in December 2015.

b) Will the EU Commission acknowledge and incorporate the best science in its decision and in the criteria?

The simplest and most robust reflection of the available scientific data is captured with the World Health Organization (WHO) definition and three categories (Option 3 of the Commission Criteria Roadmap).  This importantly ensures coherence with other EU laws, such as the CLP Regulation, and allows the most effective decision making on how to convey the total weight of scientific evidence.

In contrast, option 4 of the Roadmap or variations thereof use potency, or how much of a chemical is needed to create an effect, to identify EDCs.  Potency will not work for EDCs which affect multiple systems within the body, and also can affect wildlife. Potency, which is addressed in ‘hazard characterisation’ is distinct from and not relevant to EDC identification.  Consistent with the various scientific reports that the EU Commission has obtained since 2011 from contracted scientists (Kortenkamp et al), the JRC, and EFSA, the most recent papers are categorical that potency is not relevant to EDC identification:  see the Consensus Statement from the April 2016 Berlin meeting hosted by the German government, which was hailed as a ‘breakthrough’, and a paper published by Slama et al in a leading Environmental Health journal (1).

c) Will the EU Commission effectively move us to a dynamic industrial and agricultural future by enabling innovation in safer chemicals?

The EU pesticides and biocides laws of 2009 and 2012 complement and build on the transition that the REACH chemicals management system is developing towards safer chemicals. The EDC identification criteria are therefore a coherent part of creating the conditions for innovation of safer chemicals, for synergising the potential of these laws, and for consolidating opportunities to expand advances into other product sectors.

The pesticides and biocides laws set out strict controls for EDCs and chemicals that cause cancer, change DNA and harm reproduction. But these laws still allow continued use if needed when there are no safer alternatives, so claims of major agricultural and economic disruption must be treated with caution.

At the same time, the societal impacts of health problems arising from EDCs are typically underestimated.  Scientific studies show that these chemicals are very likely contributing to the increases in hormone-related diseases such as breast or testicular cancer, fertility problems, diabetes and obesity as well as learning and behavioural problems in children.  In addition to the suffering of individuals and their families,  these life threatening diseases come with a cost to Europe’s health systems and worker productivity, estimated in the billions annually for just a few of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals assessed.  A recent study on the “Health costs that may be associated with Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals” found that when looking at only five potentially EDC-health related effects “according to currently available literature, the socio-economic burden … for the EU may be substantial, ranging between 46 – 288 billion EUR per year” (2).

We therefore look to you to instill confidence in European citizens by upholding the treaty and laws and to choose a path which triggers innovation and protects health at the same time.

Moving us to an environmentally sustainable, healthy, and economically vigorous future requires taking effective steps: choosing the right EDC identification criteria is one of those, and will substantially contribute to the goal of the EU’s 7th Environmental Action Programme to minimise exposure to EDCs.

In view of the public interest in this matter we will make this letter publicly available.

Sincerely,

GENON new signature

 

 

 

 

Genon K. Jensen, Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

On behalf of the EDC-Free Europe coalition:

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Logos - Greenpeace (5)

 

08062016 – EDC Free_Criteria decision Juncker Letter FINAL

 

Endocrine disrupters: the secret history of a scandal

Le Monde | 20.05.2016 à 09h16 | By Stéphane Horel

This is a translation of an article in Le Monde article by Stéphane Horel entitled ‘Perturbateurs endocriniens : l’histoire secrète d’un scandale’, translated by the Health and Environment Alliance on May 20 2016. 

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This is one of the best kept secrets in Europe. It is locked up somewhere in the maze of corridors in the European Commission, in a guarded room that only about 40 accredited officials have the right to enter. And then only with paper and pen. Smartphones are not allowed. This is a stricter safety protocol than even for transatlantic free trade agreement (or TTIP) between the European Union and the United States: If Members of the European Parliament want to access TTIP documents they can enter the reading room without anyone checking the contents of their pockets.

The secret is a report of about 250 pages. Its title, in the jargon of the Commission, is “Impact Assessment”. It assesses the “socio-economic” impact of regulations related to a group of chemical pollutants. Known as endocrine disrupters, these chemicals are capable of interfering with the hormones of animal species, including humans, and are believed to be the cause of many serious diseases (hormone-dependent cancers, infertility, obesity, diabetes, neuro-behavioral disorders …). They are found in a multitude of consumer items, cosmetics, pesticides and plastics (such as bisphenol A – BPA). Whole sectors of industry will be affected by regulation of these chemicals in the medium term. Billions of Euros are at stake.

Defining criteria
The prospect of restrictions, perhaps even bans, raises serious worries among manufacturers. The pesticide industry has never hidden its hostility to the European Regulation on “plant protection products”, from which originates a decision-making process with twists and turns worthy of a TV series. Adopted by the European Parliament in 2009, the text provided for special treatment of pesticides: those recognised as endocrine disruptors would not be allowed on the market. But they must be able to be recognised.

The Commission was therefore obliged to find a way to distinguish endocrine disrupters from other chemicals. In concrete terms, its job was to lay down criteria to identify these substances. Without the criteria, the law cannot be implemented. National health authorities, industry and NGOs are thus in suspended animation awaiting a decision on these criteria for identification – a regulatory tool which will then enable restricting or, more radically, prohibiting the use of certain endocrine disrupters. Today, seven years later, these criteria still do not exist.

It is this impact assessment, with its highly confidential conclusions (as secret as the location of the fountain of youth), which is largely responsible for this delay. It was not originally part of the plan but industry called for it as a way to weaken the Regulation and then achieved its desire in early summer of 2013 after a lobbying blitzkrieg by pesticide and chemical industries working in tandem. Activities were coordinated mainly through their Brussels lobbying organizations: European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) and European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC).

A hypersensitive file
The giants of agrochemicals were also on the battlefield: both the two German heavyweights, BASF and Bayer and the Swiss multinational, Syngenta. The Commission’s Secretary General Catherine Day finally yielded to their request for an impact assessment on the basis of “divergent opinions” in the scientific community and the “potential impacts on sectors of the chemical industry and international trade” – a direct reference to TTIP, on which negotiations were then just beginning. In an internal memo dated 2 July 2013, Ms Day, the then highest European Union official, described the criteria for endocrine disruptors as a “sensitive subject”. Sensitive, it stayed. And hypersensitive, it became.

The European Parliament had given a deadline for the Commission to write these infamous criteria: December 2013. Not seeing anything coming, Sweden had decided to take the Commission to court. This move was supported by France, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands and also by the Parliament and the Council – a rare configuration.

The Court of Justice of the European Union did not delay in its response. Just before Christmas 2015, it found that the Commission, which is after all the guardian of the treaties, had “violated the law of the Union”. The judgement swept away the “alleged need for an impact assessment of the scientific criteria” that the Commission had placed at the heart of its defence. But the same day, the spokesperson of the European Commissioner for Health, the Lithuanian Vytenis Andriukaitis announced bluntly that the impact study would still be carried through. Already hypersensitive, the file became inflammable.

What cost of illness?
The European parliamentarians are furious. Some of them have already sent several letters to the President of the Commission. These had no effect. On 13 January, the President of the Parliament wrote to Jean-Claude Juncker. The Commission’s delay was “unacceptable”, underlined Martin Schulz. Equally, continuing the impact assessment was “in defiance of the judgment” of the highest court of the EU, to which he asked the Commission to “comply without delay”. The message was repeated in a second letter on 10 March. Sweden, for its part, continues to keep up the pressure. In a document dated 13 May that Le Monde has obtained, Sweden curtly reminds the Commission services that the Court “prohibits the use of economic considerations to define criteria”.

So what is the nature of the “economic considerations” contained in the pages of the impact study under lock and key? In addition to the impact on the industry, will they take into account the cost of diseases related to exposure to endocrine disruptors in Europe, which was estimated by independent studies to be at between 157 billion and 288 billion euros per year (University of Utrecht, 2016)? The suspense will end on 15 June. According to our sources, the final proposal on the criteria for the identification of endocrine disrupters will be presented in a meeting of the college of European Commissioners that day.

• Stéphane Horel
Journalist for Le Monde

Women’s reproductive problems from hormone disrupting chemicals costs Europe 1.4 billion Euros per year

Brussels, 23 March 2016 – A study published today on two common female reproductive health problems attributable to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) identifies costs of 1.4 billion Euros for Europe annually.

“Female Reproductive Disorders, Diseases, and Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union” is published online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (1).

The scientists say that the likely costs from endometriosis and uterine fibroids attributable to certain EDCs are 1.4 billion euros a year in health care expenses and lost earning potential (2).  The two conditions are common, with as many as 70 percent of women affected by at least one of the disorders.

The EDCs examined were DDE, a byproduct of the pesticide DDT which has been banned in Europe, but whose breakdown byproduct is still present in the environment due to its persistent properties, and several metabolites of the phthalate DEHP, a chemical which is a ‘substance of very high concern’ in the EU REACH chemicals system.  The EU Member States are currently considering giving an authorisation to DEHP in plastic to make multiple consumer products, a move which is being strongly criticised by environment and health public interest groups and members of the European Parliament (3).

According to Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine & Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center, “Although these two gynecological conditions affect millions of women worldwide, we recognize that this analysis only reflects the tip of the iceberg. A growing body of evidence suggests EDC exposure is linked to a broader range of female reproductive problems, including polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility and pregnancy complications. These disorders also place a significant cost burden on women, their families and society as a whole.”

NOTES:

(1)    J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Mar 22. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-2873. See https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/current-press-releases/chemical-exposure-linked-to-14-billion-euros-in-womens-health-care-costs

(2)  The economic analysis included direct costs of hospital stays, physician services, and other medical costs. The researchers also calculated estimates of indirect costs such as lost worker productivity associated with these often painful disorders.

(3)   http://www.env-health.org/resources/letters/article/open-letter-to-member-states-ahead

(4)   The study is one of several studies analysing the economic impact that endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure may be costing the European Union.  Previous studies found upwards of €157 billion a year from infertility and male reproductive dysfunctions, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurobehavioral and learning disorders associated with certain endocrine disrupting chemicals. http://www.env-health.org/resources/press-releases/article/massive-health-costs-from-edcs

(5) The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) Press Release in response to this study can be found here http://www.env-health.org/resources/press-releases/article/women-s-reproductive-problems-from

Survey findings show those living near pesticide spraying exposed to EDCs

PRESS RELEASE

EXPPERT Survey 6


Homes close to pesticide spraying show all year exposure

The worrying results of Générations Futures EXPPERT survey 6 (dust analysis) show the urgent need to implement decisions taken under the European regulation on pesticides and within the French national strategy on endocrine disruptors.


Paris, Brussels, 1 March 2016
– To demonstrate the urgency of strong preventive action in regard to endocrine disruptors – substances that threaten the developing fetus and young children even at low doses – Générations Futures, a HEAL partner and member in France, decided to undertake a series of monitoring reports. These are based on detailed analyzes showing the omnipresence of a number of endocrine disrupting pesticides in our environment leading to significant exposure of the population. This series is called EXPPERT (an abbreviation for “Exposure to pesticides that are endocrine disruptors” in French).

Générations Futures wanted to know more about exposure to pesticides among those living close to where spraying takes place because these people are particularly vulnerable. Some of the pesticides are suspected to be endocrine disruptors. The survey therefore addressed whether people living in agricultural areas using synthetic chemicals in cultivation (in vineyards and orchards and on fields) were permanently exposed to pesticides even in their homes. It also asked whether this exposure included substances suspected of being endocrine disruptors and whether exposure varied according to the season.

Investigation

Twenty-two dust samples were collected in July 2015. (Although 24 samples were taken from different homes taking part, two samples were unsuitable for laboratory testing.) In January 2016, an additional five samples were taken in homes that had taken part in the summer collection.

Six of the houses involved are situated in wine-growing areas, five are near orchards, eight are near field crops and the remaining three are in areas bordering on a mixture of these cultivations. Tests were undertaken for 61 different pesticides.

Results: a pesticides dust bath

The results went beyond all expectations:

  • Each home is exposed. Analysis of the dust samples showed that each contained between eight and 30 pesticides
  • On average, 60% of the pesticides detected are potential endocrine disruptors. The average number of pesticides per home is almost 20 pesticides and almost 12 are potential endocrine disruptors (60.18%)
  • Pesticides that are possible endocrine disruptors made up a very large proportion of the pesticide exposure. Specifically, 17.3 mg of an average of 17.6 mg of pesticides quantified per kg of dust were found to be potential endocrine disruptors (98.16% of the total)
  • Three products are found in all (100%) of samples. They are permethrin, tebuconazole and dimethomorph).

Among the pesticides identified, some have been banned in agriculture in France for several years. For example, Diuron, or DCMU (3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea), which is found in over 90% of homes was banned in France in December 2008.
In summer and in winter

The total amount of all pesticides quantified decreased in the winter. Levels of different pesticides were between 30% and 95% lower than in the summer. In a sense, it is reassuring that the concentrations decrease. On the other hand, it is worrying that the exposure to these pesticides appears to exist throughout the entire year.

These results clearly show that people living close to cultivated areas are exposed at home all the year round and to a significant cocktail of pesticides, many of which are potential endocrine disruptors. This fact illustrates the urgent need to change agricultural practices and to ensure that the spraying of synthetic pesticides is prohibited near areas where people live,” says François Veillerette, Générations Futures’ spokesperson.

He adds: “Our work also underlines the urgent need for the announcement of a definition of endocrine disruptors in order to provide real protection at European level. We call on the French government to put strong pressure on the European Commission so that this widespread exposure to endocrine disrupting pesticides in our countryside can be stopped tomorrow.

Contacts
François Veillerette, Générations Futures, tel: 00 33 6 81 64 65 58. Email: francois@generations-futures.fr

Nadine Lauverjat, Générations Futures, tel: 00 33 6 87 56 27 54. Email: nadine@generations-futures.fr

Diana Smith, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), tel: 00 33 6 33 04 2943. Email: diana@env-health.org

Notes

“Enquête EXPPERT 6 (analyses de poussières) : des riverains de zones cultivées exposés aux pesticides perturbateurs endocriniens chez eux, tout au long de l’année!”, EXPPERT Survey 6: Read the full report online in French.  It includes the analysis of dust samples from both the summer and winter test done by the laboratory, Kudzu Science. Press release in French

Other materials available in English

EXPPERT Survey 1: Which endocrine disrupting insecticides are children exposed to everyday? Press release, Brussels, 25 March 2013

EXPPERT Survey 2: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and banned Pesticides in strawberries Press release, 25 March 2013

EXPPERT Survey 3: How are children exposed to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals? Press release, 9 July 2014

EXPPERT Survey 4: Nineteen endocrine disrupting pesticides found in samples of women’s hair Press release, 12 March 2015

EXPPERT Survey 5: Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs are found in green salads Press release, 22 September 2015

 

 

Act on EDCs: EDC-Free Europe calls on Environment Ministers

29 February 2016

Dear Environment Minister,

We are writing to you on behalf of EDC-Free Europe, a coalition representing 68 organisations who have come together because of our concern about endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).  Scientists, health professionals and medical doctors have increasingly warned that EDCs can contribute to diseases and disorders like hormonal cancers (prostate, testicular, breast), reproductive health problems, impaired child development, and obesity and diabetes. We urge you, at the upcoming Environment Council, to make a strong statement calling on the European Commission to immediately comply with the ruling of the European Court of Justice on scientific criteria to identify Endocrine Disruptors (Case T-521/14 Sweden vs. Commission).

The Court found that no impact assessment was legally required to produce the scientific criteria, and that any work on the impact assessment did not justify missing the legally binding deadline (Paragraph 74).  Hence, any work on or from the impact assessment cannot be used to help decide or influence the final criteria, as the impact assessment is entirely irrelevant to the final completion and adoption of scientific criteria for identification of EDCs.

The Court found that the criticisms of the proposed draft scientific criteria from June 2013 did not justify missing the deadline (Paragraphs 69, 70, 71).  Hence, the draft criteria were appropriate for submission to Inter-Services Consultation, and still are.

The Court also found that the criteria to determine endocrine disrupting properties can only be done in an objective manner, based on scientific data in relation to the endocrine system, independently of any other consideration (Paragraph 71).  Therefore, the criteria must identify endocrine disrupting properties, based on interpretation of existing data, irrespective of any considerations about which endocrine disrupting chemicals might be of greater or lesser regulatory concern.  Hence, the criteria should not include aspects related to ‘hazard characterisation’ (severity of effects, reversibility, and potency). 

In our view, the simplest and most robust reflection of the scientific data on endocrine disrupting properties is captured with three categories (Option 3 of the roadmap).  It is also the approach that follows the existing categorisation scheme for Carcinogens, Mutagens and Reproductive Toxicants.

We look to you to take a clear position after the release of the Court judgement in December 2015 and the Commission’s subsequent responses.  Although we believe that having identification criteria with 3 categories enables pragmatic yet accurate reflection of the science, we acknowledge that for compliance with the Court judgement, the simplest way to proceed would be with an Inter-Services Consultation on the June 2013 draft criteria as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

Genon K. Jensen, Executive Director, HEAL on behalf of EDC-Free Europe

 

ON BEHALF OF:

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

ChemSec

Client Earth

Greenpeace

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

Health Care Without Harm Europe (HCWH)

Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe)

Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

Action for Breast Cancer

Action Cancer du Sein du Quebec

Alliance for Cancer Prevention

A.P.E.D.D.U.B Association pour la Protection de l’Environnement et le Développement Durable de Bizerte

Baltic Environmental Forum

Breast Cancer UK

Breast Cancer Action

BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany)

The Cancer Prevention & Education Society (CPES)

Centre Ecology and Health

Chapaevsk Medical Association

CHEM Trust

Comité pour le Développement Durable en Santé C2DS

Commonweal

Corporate European Observatory

Danish Consumer Council

The Danish Ecological Council

DES Daughter

Eco Accord

Ecobaby Foundation

Ecocity

Ecodes

Ecologistas en Acción – Ecologists in Action

European Academy of Environmental Medicine EUROPAEM

Fodesam (Fondo para la Defensa de la Salud Ambiental)

France Nature Environnement

Fundación Alborada

Fundación Vida Sostenible

Fundacion Vivosano

Générations Cobayes

Générations Futures

Gezinsbond

Global 2000

Hipoalergiczni

Indiana Toxics Action Project

Initiativ Liewensufank

Inter-Environnement Wallonie

Irish Doctors Environmental Association IDEA

International Society of Doctors for the Environment ISDE

ISTAS

IVU e.V International Verein fur Umwelterkrankte

Macedonian Association of Doctors for the Environment MADE

Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE)

Naturskyddsföreningen / Swedish Society for Nature Conservation

PAN Germany

Physicians For Social Responsibility – Los Angeles

Phyto Victimes

Quercus – National Association for Nature Conservation

Réseau Environnement Santé (RES)

Scottish Hazards Campaign

Stiching Huize Aarde

TEDX The Endocrine Disruption Exchange

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) 

TOXISPHERA Environmental Health Association

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians UCATT

WECF France

WECF Germany

WECF Netherlands

Wemos

Women Environment Network 

LOGOSFINAL!

 

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Foundation Alborada – Free course and webinars on EDCs

Alborada Foundation says goodbye to 2015 with two free activities on EDCs as part of the project ¡Que no te alteren las hormonas! targeted towards the general public and health professionals.

Three webinars and an online course in Spanish aim to improve the knowledge about EDCs and everything related to them including their origin, mechanisms, related diseases, and policies and actions for reducing exposure. Already over 300 people have signed up, including mainly medical doctors and nutrition specialists.

The series of activities started on 3 December with an introductory webinar by Dr. Pilar Muñoz-Calero, specialist in Environmental Medicine and President of Alborada Foundation, and Ruth Echeverría, Biophysicist and Education and Research Manager at Alborada Foundation.

The second webinar took place on 10 December with Dr. Juan Pedro Arrebola, specialist in Epidemiology and Public Health at the Institute for Bio sanitary Research of Granada.

The third webinar took place on 17 December with Dr. Angeliki Lysimachou, Environmental Toxicologist and Coordinator on EDCs at Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe).

The online course started on the 15 December with the participation of Dr. Nicolás Olea, Professor and researcher on EDCs at the University of Granada. This gave students the opportunity to learn all about EDCs and how to avoid related diseases and illnesses by prevention measures. This is the first online educational program on EDCs in Spain and aims to be repeated in 2016.

Update: Over 100 people participated in the webinars online and over 550 people have watched the videos in our YouTube channel (and increasing). Attendees had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Pilar Muñoz-Calero (Alborada Foundation) from Madrid, Dr. Juan Pedro Arrebola (University of Granada) from Copenhagen, and Dr. Angeliki Lyssimachou (PAN Europe) from Brussels, about where we can find EDCs, how to prevent related diseases, what the impact is on public health and what the EU is doing to protect citizens.

The recordings of the webinars are available on Alborada Foundation’s YouTube channel and via the blog site here in Spanish

Over 100,000 Europeans call to ban glyphosate

On 9 December, 16 public interest organisations delivered a petition from over 100,000 Europeans to the EU Commission to ban glyphosate. Many of these groups are EDC-Free campaign partners and supporters including Corporate Europe Observatory, Ecologistas en Action, Fundación Alborada, Générations futures, Global2000, HEAL, PAN Europe, PAN Germany, WECF, and Wemos. Other groups include Campact.de, Nature Progres Belgique, Pesticide Action Network – Italie, Pesticide Action Network UK, Skiftet, and WeMove.EU.

The petition was handed over a day before the Standing Committee of Member States and the Commission met to discuss, for the first time, EFSA’s conclusion on glyphosate. 

Earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the WHO classified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic’. This is the second highest danger level for cancer-causing chemicals that the WHO Agency assigns. In Europe, carcinogenic pesticides are banned from use in agriculture when they meet the criteria for classification set up in EU law. Yet last month, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its report concluding that glyphosate “is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans”, a conclusion which enables the decision makers to give it a green light for its authorisation in the EU.

The petition available here and is still open to signatures which will be delivered to the EU Commission again in early 2016.

Post provided by PAN Europe and HEAL