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Thursday, 9th August

The EU chemicals testing program REACH* is a well-intentioned but scientifically flawed attempt to protect human health and the environment from the effects of toxic chemicals. This is the conclusion reached in a report published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Medicolegal and Bioethics.

The report suggests that:

• EU health authorities are out of step with modern toxicology;
• That current animal test requirements are invalid for predicting human response;
• That REACH will result in a pointless animal massacre; and
• That public health and the environment will continue to be at risk from the effects of toxic chemicals.

Principal author of the report Andre Menache states:

“Although REACH does put the burden of proof on manufacturers to demonstrate the safety of their products, it then “scores an own goal” by obliging manufacturers to conform to invalid test methods to predict human health outcomes.”

He adds: “The fact that EU citizens have not been given the opportunity to grant or deny their consent before being exposed to the toxic burden that now contaminates us all has legal as well as public health implications. The presence of nearly 300 industrial chemicals in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies is testimony to a failed strategy of pollution control, when EU health authorities should be focusing their efforts on pollution prevention.”

The report calls for the following measures to be implemented without delay:

• Significantly increase the biomonitoring of EU citizens and make the results publicly available;
• Toxic risk assessment of chemicals based on modern toxicology, not animal tests; and to be conducted in an independent and transparent manner;
• Prioritisation for a ban and avoidance of harmful chemicals found in adult and umbilical cord blood and urine samples
• Public policy based on pollution prevention, rather than pollution control

*REACH = registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals

Note - HLS are doing REACH work via their alter-ego, LSR Associates

See Antidote Europe's website for more information: http://antidote-europe.org/releases/reach/


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