The European Committee of the Regions has to date not taken an official stance on the question of endocrine disrupting chemicals. This opinion is the first document sketching the view of local and regional authorities when it comes to EDCs.
The objectives therefore include:
raising awareness amongst the CoR Members of the issue
highlighting the complexity of the topic and its importance for EU citizens
emphasising the "precautionary principle" and its prevalence over economic and other considerations
advocating for more independent, publicly funded research into EDC
protecting health of the most vulnerable groups, esp. children, pregnant women and adolescents
The opinion was very well received by the civil society and its bold requests (ban on pthalates or bisphenols) broadly applauded.
The theme, considered technical and disputed between several Commission's Directorates General, has meanwhile become one of the key priority areas for the new Commission. The Commissioner for Health, pledged during her EP hearing to focus on the issues of "food contact materials", "cocktail effect" and as well as promised to "strenghten transparency and independence of the EU risk assessment" - all these topics were covered by the opinion.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
calls on the Commission not to further delay the development and adoption of the new strategy on endocrine disruptors and demands that it be accompanied by a detailed timetable to make progress in reducing exposure;
calls on the Commission to address as soon as possible existing differences across the EU laws and to harmonise the way in which endocrine disrupting chemicals are treated, namely with a presumption that no safe threshold for exposure can be set with sufficient certainty;
calls on the Member States and the Commission to give priority to citizens' health outcomes while also taking into account the interests of consumers and the industry and to significantly increase funding for independent, public research into endocrine disruption and into safe substitutes and other innovative solutions;
calls for a ban on bisphenols and phthalates in all food contact materials;
highlights the initiatives such "EDC-Free cities and territories", "non-hazardous cities", "pesticides-free cities", adopted by local and regional authorities to reduce the exposure of their inhabitants to endocrine disrupting chemicals, in particular for the most vulnerable groups, children and pregnant women.