European Commission buries plan to ban substances toxic to health and environment

The long -awaited revision of the Reach regulation, a pillar of the “zero pollution” strategy of the European Green Deal, was postponed to the end of 2023, compromising its adoption under the legislature of Ursula von der Leyen.

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On April 25, the European Commission presented its “roadmap” to eliminate the chemicals most dangerous for the health and the environment of consumer products by 2030. Hailed as the promise of a “Revolution”, this unprecedented reform is on the way to being buried.

Pillar of the “zero pollution” strategy of the European Green Pact, this reform is supposed to go through an in -depth revision of the European Regulation Reach on chemical substances. The revision proposal – in particular the assessment of the risk by family of substances and no longer on a case -by -case basis – should initially be presented before the end of the year, then in the spring of 2023. It has just been postponed to the fourth quarter 2023. The decision was made Tuesday October 18 by the College of European Commissioners when the Commission’s work program adopted for 2023.

The next European elections being scheduled in 2024, the reform is now very unlikely to succeed under the legislature of Ursula von der Leyen. Its implementation will be suspended from the new composition of the European Parliament.

“With this unacceptable postponement, the Commission is sinking the last nail into the coffin of the Reach reform, deplores the Belgian MEP (Socialist and Democrats Group) Maria Arena. The lobbies of the chemical industry won.” Member of The Environment Commission of the Parliament, it had filed a resolution, in July 2020, to support this revision. “The message is now clear,” she observes today, profits from the chemical industry are more important than the health of Europeans. We will remember the European Green Deal like the European Deal Deal! “

The Ukrainian argument

For several weeks, the German chemistry giants, Bayer and Basf in mind, have multiplied interventions with the Commission to ask to mark a break in its “strategy for the sustainability of chemicals”. In a call published on October 4, the German Chemistry Industry Federation urged to postpone all legislative initiatives “weighing additional charges on the competitiveness of the industry”. Reason invoked: the context of energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine, which would threaten European companies.

The agricultural component of the European Green Pact is also questioned by the war in Ukraine, several member states, including France, arguing of a possible drop in production in the European Union (EU), consecutive to the implementation of reductions in pesticides and inputs provided for by the “Farm to Fork” strategy.

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/Media reports.