This week European governments are meeting to discuss restrictions on hormone-disrupting chemicals found in everything from paint to pesticides. These toxic chemicals can cause cancers and birth defects -- and that’s why they should be banned.
But the European Commission wants EU governments to approve regulations so lax that chemical corporations and herbicide makers like Monsanto can carry on business as usual until the harm is already done.
Instead of building upon Europe’s hard-won precautionary principle, the proposed rules begin from the idea that toxic chemicals are fine until proven otherwise.
The European Commission and their chemical brothers haven’t won yet though, and they need Germany’s votes for the EU’s qualified majority voting system. That’s why we’re raising money to run the first ever public opinion poll in Germany on hormone-disrupting chemicals. Will you chip in?
National opinion polling is a powerful tool to get the views of voters into the media and political debate. The EU law-making process is slow and obscure, but we can shoot it into the media with polling results in November.
Germany only needs to abstain from voting for the European Commission’s disastrous proposal, because no vote counts as a “no” in these EU voting meetings. The Commission will need to revise and revise their proposal until it is good enough to pass. We can win this!
BASF, Bayer, and many other chemical giants call Germany home, so there’s a massive local industry lobby. But the Environment Ministry, Dr. Barbara Hendricks, could join other Environment Ministers from Denmark, Sweden and France who are speaking out for bans and meaningful restrictions.
SumOfUs is campaigning against these chemicals, also called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), with partners all across Europe and beyond. A coalition of public interest groups called EDC-Free Europe has been campaigning for years on endocrine disruptors and their impact on human health, fighting the influence of the chemical industry at every turn.
The draft rules are designed to protect corporate profits, not public health and the environment. In the current proposal from the European Commission, we would have to wait for years of damage to our health before withdrawing a chemical from the market. It’s the opposite of the precautionary principle, and we can’t let them get away with it!