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TTIP: EU Drops Pesticide Laws Because US Says It Should

TTIP: EU Drops Pesticide Laws Because US Says It Should

Documents reveal that the EU dropped planned pesticide laws due to US pressure over TTIP

US trade officials pushed the EU to shelve action on the endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to cancer and male infertility, in order to facilitate TTIP free trade deal

The Independent reports:

According to documents obtained by the Pesticides Action Network (PAN) Europe, a visit from high-level officials from the US Mission to Europe and the American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) in July 2013 convinced the EU to drop planned rules that could have led to the banning of 31 pesticides containing health hazardous chemicals.

AmCham representatives reportedly “complained about the uselessness of creating categories and thus, lists” of prohibited substances during the meeting, and US trade officials “emphasised the need for an impact assessment,” The Guardian has reported.

The European Commission at first resisted, claiming that though they back TTIP “they would not like to be seen as lowering EU standards,” but relented later that same day, a letter from the desk of the Commission’s secretary-general has shown.

Samuel Lowe, TTIP campaigner for Friends of the Earth, told The Independent: “This is yet further evidence that the European Commission is more than willing to trade off, weaken, or delay much needed regulation and protections for the sake of completing this TTIP trade deal.

“The repeated claims that TTIP will not undermine our standards here in Europe and the UK are becoming less and less credible by the day.”

The pesticides the rules would have affected contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), the illnesses to which its been linked include cancer and male infertility — the health costs have been estimated at €150bn per year.

The EU will vote on legislation to regulate EDCs in 2016 at the earliest, instead of 2014 as was planned previously.