Belgium’s Senate called on Friday for a national action plan on endocrine disruptors, immediate measures to protect the most vulnerable people, better data collection and more awareness building. These recommendations are included in an information report approved at a plenary session of the upper house on Friday, with only the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) and Vlaams Belang parties abstaining.
Some 10,000 substances are categorized as potential endocrine disruptors, which can imitate natural hormones or hamper their functioning. Although they are contained in many everyday products, including cosmetics, toys, canned foods and packaging materials, only about 1,300 substances have been tested to date and the issue of their harmful nature is often raised.
“In this information report, we have placed public health for present and future generations at the centre,” commented Cindy Franssen (CD&V), which initiated the document. “We are involving the various governments so they can use their powers to the maximum to limit the population’s exposure to endocrine disruptors, limit the spread of these substances and regulate their use in production and consumption.”
The senator also called for priority prevention and prohibition measures to protect the most vulnerable persons – pregnant women, children up to the age of 3 and adolescents. “We are therefore advocating the establishment of a national plan in consultation with scientists, civil society and the world of business,” she said. “The policy must always be guided by the principle of precaution and independent scientific studies.”
Senator Jan Becaus said the N-VA recognized the importance of endocrine disruptors but abstained because the recommendations do not respect the various levels of authority.