Belgium will not support a European Commission text on endocrine disruptors, the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Willy Borsus, stated on Tuesday at a budget debate in parliament. The European Commission has drawn up a list of scientific criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in plant protection products and biocides.
Present in plastics, pesticides and cosmetics, endocrine disruptors are natural and chemical substances that can alter the functions of the hormone system, with undesirable effects on people and animals. These include congenital deformities and neurodevelopmental disorders that can lead to diabetes and obesity.
The draft European text will be examined on Wednesday at a meeting of experts. It is divided into two parts. The first sets out the criteria and will be supported by Belgium, since it incorporates almost all the country’s comments.
The second part authorizes exemptions. Belgium and some other countries will oppose both the form chosen by the European Commission and the substance. The proposed mechanism “strips the text of its substance,” stressed Borsus in response to a query by parliamentarian Muriel Gerkens (Ecolo).