An aligned approach for endocrine disruptors soon?

What seems a long time ago, the European Commission tabled two proposals for Endocrine Disruptor Criteria. One for biocides and one for pesticides.  From the start, the Commission wanted a joined up approach. They just want the same regulatory  approach taken for pesticides, biocides, and indeed for anything else.

It has not been easy getting these rules agreed. Their hopes of an aligned approach appeared to be derailed in October. Then a text on biocides was accepted by the Member States and European Parliament,  but rejected for pesticides by the Parliament.

Today, the Commission came back to the drawing board and submitted a new proposal (see below).

It stands a good chance of being adopted. It removes an exemption for insect growth regulators. This was put forward by Germany. The European Parliament objected to it for rule of law concerns – it exceeded the strict limitations of delegated legislation. Without the offending provisions it should sail through.

Government officials look at on 12 or 13 December and may even vote on it. If they back it, the Parliament will let it through, and an aligned approach may well come true after several years.  Inevitably it will then start to work its way across other legislation.

Civil servants, who are often lawyers, like legal certainty and order. They may well secure it for Endocrine.


Why Principles & Data can help you predict who will win the vote

Use Data and not hunches

In  Ray Dallio’s “Principles” he talks about the use of data and computers to enhance good decisions. It is something that I think political campaigners and lobbyists should try.

Today, it is not used much in lobbying and political campaigning.  People prefer hunches, intuition or what I suspect, too often, making it up on the fly.
The tools exist. For a long while I have used the data flow from EUVotewatch.  On one of most successful political campaigns the data gleamed from previous similar votes was a vital tool in designing a winning campaign.
Look at the trends
A word of warning.  Historical data does not predict future votes of politicians. It is a useful indicator, but politicians are not robots. Events shape their decisions, and they change their minds.
It helps to understand the context of the vote and the events surrounding a vote. They are vital indicators. Shaping the events and the thinking on the vote is vital.
We are not in a realm of plug in the data and predict the result. There are though vital trends that can be learned.
97% of laws made this way and most people ignore it
The area I have most used EU Vote Watch is for comitology.
I have, what my friends tell me,  is an unhealthy interest in comitology/ delegated legislation. I have had the interest for more than 20 years. I enjoy it because it accounts for about 97% or more EU legislation and very few people in Brussels  are interested in it.
I looked at last week’s vote in the European Parliament against proposed scientific criteria put forward for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties in pesticides. It is a file I have worked on for a long time and work on today.
Getting a challenge through the EP is always tough. Securing 376 votes is a deliberately high hurdle.
The Green/Social Democrat motion passed. It got through with 389 for, 235 against, and 70 abstained.
Why did they succeed?
But, the real question is why get this many votes.
What was very smart about this challenge is how the proposers  played it. There was little discussion about the about endocrine disruptors. Instead, the objection was framed to what really concerns MEPs, namely “Parliamentary privilege the rule of law and the Commission exceeding the law”.
Listening to Bas Eeckhout MEP (Greens/Netherlands) explain his case was tantamount to getting a condensed lecture from the late Tom Bighmam on the Rule of Law.
This must have head the NGOs, who had crusaded on the public health issue, gnashing at the teeth.
But, it was the right call, and the figures prove it.
A roll call vote on Recital P “P.  whereas, in accordance with long-standing case law, the adoption of regulatory elements that are essential to a given matter is reserved to the EU legislature and may not be delegated to the Commission” went through.
This went through with overwhelming support.
It went through with support from most of the groups, except the ECR, who were split.
Parliaments throughout Europe have been in struggle against the Executive for centuries. They guard their hard won privileges. They have been battling against the Council and Commission on delegated legislation since 1979.
The data show most politicians have this DNA built into them. The substantive issues of the rule of law and protection of Parliament’s privileges are more important than the technical issue at hand.
This is the vital lesson on what really counts.

European Parliament Reject Commission’s Endocrine Proposal – how they voted

At around 12:30 this afternoon the European Parliament rejected the Commission’s proposal on Endocrine Criteria for Pesticides.

  • For: 389
  •  Against: 235
  • Abstain: 70

The final text adopted is here.



You can watch the final vote below.



How they Voted



By Political Group

By Member States


389 +
ALDE: Arthuis, Auštrevičius, van Baalen, Bearder, Becerra Basterrechea, Bilbao Barandica, Calvet Chambon, Cavada, Cornillet, Deprez, Federley, Gerbrandy, Griesbeck, Harkin, Huitema, in ‘t Veld, Jäätteenmäki, Jakovčić, Ježek, Kallas, Løkkegaard, Marinho e Pinto, Michel, van Miltenburg, Mlinar, Nart, van Nieuwenhuizen, Paet, Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Petersen, Punset, Radoš, Ries, Riquet, Rochefort, Rohde, Schaake, Selimovic, Toom, Torvalds, Tremosa i Balcells, Vajgl, Vautmans, Verhofstadt, Weber Renate, Wierinck, Wikström
ECR: Belder, van Dalen, Demesmaeker, Dohrmann, Karlsson, Marias, Messerschmidt, Ruohonen-Lerner, Škripek, Stevens, Theocharous, Van Bossuyt, Vistisen, Zīle, Žitňanská
EFDD: Adinolfi, Agea, Aiuto, Beghin, Bergeron, Borrelli, Castaldo, Corrao, D’Amato, D’Ornano, Evi, Ferrara, Iwaszkiewicz, Moi, Montel, Paksas, Pedicini, Philippot, Tamburrano, Valli, Zullo
ENF: Annemans, Arnautu, Bay, Bilde, Boutonnet, Briois, Elissen, Ferrand, Goddyn, de Graaff, Jalkh, Jamet, Kappel, Lebreton, Lechevalier, Loiseau, Martin Dominique, Marusik, Mayer Georg, Mélin, Monot, Obermayr, Pretzell, Rebega, Schaffhauser, Stuger, Troszczynski, Vilimsky, Zijlstra
GUE/NGL: Albiol Guzmán, Anderson Martina, Benito Ziluaga, Björk, Carthy, Chountis, Couso Permuy, Eck, Ernst, Flanagan, Forenza, González Peñas, Hadjigeorgiou, Hazekamp, de Jong, Juaristi Abaunz, Kari, Kohlíček, Konečná, Kouloglou, Kuneva, Kyllönen, Le Hyaric, López Bermejo, Lösing, Maltese, Maštálka, Matias, Michels, Mineur, Ní Riada, Omarjee, Papadimoulis, Pimenta Lopes, Sakorafa, Sánchez Caldentey, Scholz, Senra Rodríguez, Spinelli, Sylikiotis, Torres Martínez, Urbán Crespo, Vallina, Vergiat, Viegas, Vieu
NI: Balczó, Chauprade, Epitideios, Fountoulis, Gollnisch, James, Korwin-Mikke, Morvai, Papadakis Konstantinos, Synadinos, Voigt, Zarianopoulos
PPE: Andrikienė, Arimont, Bach, Bendtsen, Casa, Faria, Metsola, Peterle, Pietikäinen, Reding, Rolin, Tolić, Zammit Dimech
S&D: Anderson Lucy, Andrieu, Androulakis, Arena, Assis, Balas, Bayet, Benifei, Beňová, Berès, Bettini, Blanco López, Bonafè, Borzan, Boştinaru, Brannen, Briano, Bullmann, Cabezón Ruiz, Caputo, Childers, Chinnici, Christensen, Cofferati, Corbett, Costa, Dalli, Dance, Danti, Delvaux, Denanot, Drăghici, Ertug, Fajon, Fernández, Fleckenstein, Freund, Gardiazabal Rubial, Gasbarra, Gebhardt, Geier, Geringer de Oedenberg, Gill Neena, Giuffrida, Gomes, Grammatikakis, Graswander-Hainz, Griffin, Gualtieri, Guerrero Salom, Guillaume, Guteland, Gutiérrez Prieto, Hedh, Hoffmann, Honeyball, Howarth, Ivan, Jaakonsaari, Jáuregui Atondo, Jongerius, Kadenbach, Kaili, Kammerevert, Kaufmann, Keller Jan, Khan, Kirton-Darling, Kofod, Kohn, Köster, Krehl, Kumpula-Natri, Kyenge, Kyrkos, Lange, Leinen, Lietz, López, López Aguilar, Ludvigsson, McAvan, Mamikins, Maňka, Manscour, Martin David, Martin Edouard, Maurel, Mavrides, Mayer Alex, Melior, Mizzi, Moisă, Molnár, Moraes, Nekov, Neuser, Niedermüller, Nilsson, Noichl, Panzeri, Paolucci, Papadakis Demetris, Pargneaux, Peillon, Picierno, Picula, Piri, Pirinski, Pittella, Poc, Poche, Post, Preuß, Regner, Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Rodrigues Liliana, Rodrigues Maria João, Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Rodust, Rozière, Sant, dos Santos, Sârbu, Sassoli, Schaldemose, Schlein, Schuster, Sehnalová, Serrão Santos, Silva Pereira, Simon Peter, Simon Siôn, Sippel, Smolková, Soru, Stihler, Tang, Țapardel, Tarabella, Thomas, Toia, Ujhelyi, Ulvskog, Valenciano, Van Brempt, Vaughan, Viotti, Ward, Weidenholzer, von Weizsäcker, Werner, Westphal, Wölken, Zala, Zanonato, Zoffoli, Zorrinho
Verts/ALE: Affronte, Albrecht, Andersson, Auken, Bové, Buchner, Bütikofer, Cramer, Dalunde, Delli, Durand, Eickhout, Engström, Evans, Giegold, Harms, Häusling, Hautala, Heubuch, Hudghton, Jadot, Joly, Keller Ska, Lambert, Lamberts, Lochbihler, Lunacek, Marcellesi, Meszerics, Reda, Reimon, Reintke, Rivasi, Sargentini, Scott Cato, Škrlec, Smith, Solé, Šoltes, Staes, Tarand, Taylor, Trüpel, Turmes, Urtasun, Valero, Vana, Ždanoka

235 –
ALDE: Ali, Diaconu, Giménez Barbat, Grigule-Pēterse, Hyusmenova, Kyuchyuk, Lambsdorff, Mazuronis, Meissner, Mihaylova, Müller, Nicolai, Takkula, Väyrynen
ECR: Ashworth, Barekov, Dalton, Dzhambazki, Fitto, Flack, Fox, Gericke, Halla-aho, Hannan, Henkel, Kölmel, Lucke, McClarkin, Macovei, Matthews, Nicholson, Procter, Sernagiotto, Starbatty, Sulík, Swinburne, Tannock, Tošenovský, Trebesius, Ujazdowski, Zahradil
EFDD: Agnew
ENF: Bizzotto, Borghezio, Fontana, Salvini
NI: Dodds, Woolfe
PPE: Adaktusson, Ademov, Alliot-Marie, Ayuso, Balz, Belet, Bocskor, Böge, Bogovič, Boni, Brok, Buda, Buşoi, Buzek, van de Camp, Caspary, del Castillo Vera, Cesa, Cicu, Cirio, Clune, Collin-Langen, Corazza Bildt, Csáky, Danjean, Dantin, Dati, Delahaye, Deli, Deß, Deutsch, Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Dorfmann, Ehler, Engel, Erdős, Estaràs Ferragut, Fisas Ayxelà, Fjellner, Florenz, Gahler, Gál, Gambús, Gardini, Gieseke, González Pons, de Grandes Pascual, Gräßle, Grossetête, Gyürk, Hayes, Herranz García, Hetman, Hökmark, Hölvényi, Hortefeux, Hübner, Iturgaiz, Jahr, Jazłowiecka, Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Joulaud, Juvin, Kalinowski, Kalniete, Kariņš, Kelam, Kelly, Koch, Kósa, Kovatchev, Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Kudrycka, Kuhn, Kukan, Lamassoure, de Lange, Langen, Lavrilleux, Lenaers, Lewandowski, Liese, Lins, Lope Fontagné, López-Istúriz White, Łukacijewska, McAllister, McGuinness, Maletić, Malinov, Mann, Marinescu, Martusciello, Matera, Mato, Maullu, Mikolášik, Millán Mon, Morano, Morin-Chartier, Mureşan, Muselier, Mussolini, Nagy, Niebler, Niedermayer, Novakov, Olbrycht, Pabriks, Patriciello, Petir, Pieper, Pitera, Plura, Polčák, Ponga, Pospíšil, Preda, Proust, Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Radtke, Ribeiro, Rosati, Saïfi, Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Salini, Sander, Sarvamaa, Saudargas, Schöpflin, Schreijer-Pierik, Schulze, Schwab, Siekierski, Sógor, Šojdrová, Sommer, Štefanec, Štětina, Stolojan, Šuica, Šulin, Svoboda, Szájer, Szejnfeld, Thun und Hohenstein, Tőkés, Ţurcanu, Urutchev, Vaidere, Valcárcel Siso, Vălean, Vandenkendelaere, Verheyen, Virkkunen, Voss, Wałęsa, Weber Manfred, Wenta, Wieland, Winkler Hermann, Winkler Iuliu, Záborská, Zdechovský, Zdrojewski, Zeller, Zovko, Zver, Zwiefka
S&D: Balčytis, Blinkevičiūtė, Cristea, Dăncilă, Frunzulică, García Pérez, Gierek, Grapini, Kouroumbashev, Lauristin, Liberadzki, Łybacka, Nica, Paşcu, Pavel, Popa, Stanishev, Zemke

ALDE: Charanzová, Dlabajová, Goerens, Telička, Uspaskich
ECR: Czarnecki, Czesak, Fotyga, Gosiewska, Hoc, Jurek, Karski, Kłosowski, Krasnodębski, Krupa, Kuźmiuk, Legutko, Ożóg, Piecha, Piotrowski, Tomaševski, Tomašić, Wiśniewska, Złotowski
EFDD: Aker, Arnott, Batten, Bullock, Carver, Coburn, (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Etheridge, Finch, Gill Nathan, Hookem, Lundgren, O’Flynn, Parker, Payne, Reid, Winberg
ENF: Atkinson, Zanni
NI: Saryusz-Wolski
PPE: Becker, Cadec, Christoforou, Fernandes, Karas, Kefalogiannis, Kyrtsos, Melo, Radev, Rübig, Schmidt, Spyraki, Ungureanu, Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Zagorakis
S&D: Aguilera García, Ayala Sender, Bresso, Cozzolino, De Castro, De Monte, Gentile, Morgano, Mosca, Szanyi
Verts/ALE: Ropė
Interestingly the percentage split for and against is similar to the same vote in Environment Committee on 28 September.



Endocrine Challenge Debate on 28 September

You can watch the debate and vote here.



The Environment Committee voted this morning:

  • 36 in favor
  • 26 against
  • 0 abstention
  • Total  voters 62 out of 69 members.

My hunch – but there is no automatic roll call vote – is this vote is split down Party lines.  S&D, Greens, GUE/ Nordic Left,  on one side, EPP and ECR on another.  The Liberals are split down the middle, with Red Liberals backing the S&D block, and Black Liberals backing the EPP.
The EFN would tend to vote for the motion and EFDD would vote against.

That is 52% of the members backing the vote. If translated to  the vote Wednesday in Strasbourg, it would just get over the 50.1% threshold, and 367 votes.

The full Parliament tends to take a more deferential line to the Commission than the Environment Committee so it is going to b a close thing.

Here is a copy of  the Endocrine PPP comitology challenge published today (Thursday 21 September).

Let’s see how the Environment Committee deal with it on 28 September at around 10:30 am.

It needs a simple majority to pass the Environment Committee, and if it does, it then goes to the full Parliament, where it will needs 367 votes or more to block the measure.

If it does, the Commission can withdraw and re-table a new proposal, or withdraw and submit a co-decision proposal.

European Parliament



{ENVI}Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety





<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 106(2), (3) and (4)(c) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties</Titre>

<DocRef>(D048947 – 2017/0000(RPS))</DocRef>

<Commission>{ENVI}Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety</Commission>

Members responsible: <Depute>Jytte Guteland, Bas Eickhout</Depute>





European Parliament resolution on the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties


(D048947/06 – 2017/0000 (RPS))


The European Parliament,


–    having regard to the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties (D048947/06) (“draft regulation”),

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC[1], and in particular Article 4(1), Article 78(1)(a), the second paragraph of point 3.6.5. of Annex II and point 3.8.2 of Annex II thereof,

–    having regard to the judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2015[2], and in particular paragraphs 71 and 72 thereof,

–    having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on endocrine disruptors: state of play following the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 16 December 2015[3],

–    having regard to the Communication by the Commission on endocrine disruptors and the draft Commission acts setting out scientific criteria for their determination in the context of the EU legislation on plant protection products and biocidal products of 15 June 2016[4],

–    having regard to the Summary Report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017,

–    having regard to European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2013 on the protection of public health from endocrine disrupters[5],

–    having regard to the Commission roadmap of June 2014 entitled “Defining criteria for identifying Endocrine Disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Protection Product Regulation and Biocidal Products Regulation”,

–    having regard to the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’ (“Seventh Environment Action Programme”), and in particular the third subparagraph of point 50 thereof[6],

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006[7],

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products[8], and in particular Article 15 thereof,

–    having regard to the Guidance by the European Food Safety Authority on the “Submission of scientific peer-reviewed open literature for the approval of pesticide active substances under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009”[9],

–    having regard to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union Address of 13 September 2017,

–    having regard to the  second draft Guidance document of 17 July 2012 for the implementation of the hazard-based criteria to identify endocrine disruptors (EDs) in the context of Regulations (EC) No 1107/2009 and (EU) No 528/2012, developed by the European Food Safety Authority, the European Chemicals Agency, and the Joint Research Centre (“draft guidance”);

–    having regard to Article 5a(3)(b) of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission[10],

–    having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–    having regard to Rule 106(2), (3) and (4)(c) of its Rules of Procedure,

  1. whereas in accordance with point 3.8.2. of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, an active substance is only to be approved if it is not considered to have endocrine disrupting properties that may cause adverse effect in non-target organisms, unless the exposure of non-target organisms to that active substance under realistic proposed conditions of use is negligible (“cut-off criterion” for the environment);
  2. whereas in accordance with the second paragraph of point 3.6.5. of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, the Commission is to present to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health a draft of the measures concerning specific scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties by 14 December 2013;
  3. whereas the Standing Committee delivered a positive opinion on the draft regulation on 4 July 2017, with three Member States voting against, and four Member States abstaining;
  4. whereas the last paragraph of the draft regulation stipulates that “if the intended plant protection mode of action of the active substance being assessed, consists of controlling target organisms other than vertebrates via their endocrine systems, the effects on organisms of the same taxonomic phylum as the targeted one, shall not be considered for the identification of the substance as having endocrine disrupting properties with respect to non-target organisms”;
  5. whereas the General Court in its judgment in case T-521/14 clearly stated that «la spécification des critères scientifiques pour la détermination des propriétés perturbant le système endocrinien ne peut se faire que de manière objective, au regard de données scientifiques relatives audit système, indépendamment de toute autre considération, en particulier économique»[11](paragraph 71);
  6. whereas it is not scientific to exclude a substance with an intended endocrine mode of action from the identification of being an endocrine disrupter for non-target organisms;
  7. whereas the draft regulation can therefore not be considered to be based on objective science linked to the endocrine system, as required by the Court; whereas the Commission hereby exceeds its implementing powers;
  8. whereas the actual intention of this last paragraph is clearly spelled out in the summary report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017 which states that “furthermore, the rationale behind the provision on active substances with an intended endocrine mode of action (below called growth regulators (GR)) was explained. … The provision on GR allows that the cut-off criteria will not be applied to substances with an intended endocrine mode of action …”;
  9. whereas it is thus clear that the actual intention of this last paragraph is to effectively create a derogation from the cut-off criterion laid down point 3.8.2 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;
  10. whereas it is apparent from recitals 6 to 10 as well as from Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 that the legislature, when addressing the complex issue of setting the rules on approving active substances, had to strike a delicate balance between the different and potentially conflicting objectives, i.e. agricultural production and the internal market, on the one hand, and the protection of health and the environment, on the other;
  11. whereas the General Court stated the following in the judgment referred to above: «Dans ce contexte, il importe de relever que, en adoptant le règlement n° 528/2012, le législateur a procédé à une mise en balance de l’objectif d’amélioration du marché intérieur et de celui de la préservation de la santé humaine, de la santé animale et de l’environnement, que la Commission se doit de respecter et ne saurait remettre en cause…. Or, dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des pouvoirs qui lui sont délégués par le législateur, la Commission ne saurait remettre en cause cet équilibre, ce que cette institution a d’ailleurs en substance admis lors de l’audience.»[12] (paragraph 72);
  12. whereas this was echoed by the European Parliament in its resolution of 8 June 2016 which stresses that “the General Court ruled that the specification of scientific criteria can only be carried out in an objective manner on the basis of scientific data related to the endocrine system, independently of any other consideration, in particular economic ones, and that the Commission is not entitled to change the regulatory balance laid down in a basic act via the application of powers delegated to it pursuant to Article 290 [of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)];
  13. whereas the same limitations of power apply for the Commission in the context of an implementing act under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny;
  14. whereas according to the Commission communication of 15 June 2016, “the issue faced by the Commission in this exercise is to establish criteria to determine what is or is not an endocrine disruptor for the purposes of plant protection products and biocidal products – not to decide how to regulate these substances. The regulatory consequences have already been set by the legislator in the legislation on plant protection products (2009) and biocidal products (2012).”;
  15. whereas the cut-off criterion laid down in point 3.8.2 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 constitutes an essential element of the Regulation;
  16. whereas according to long-standing case law, the adoption of regulatory elements that are essential to a given matter is reserved to the EU legislature and may not be delegated to the Commission;
  17. whereas according to Commission President Juncker in his State of the Union Address 2017, the rule of law is one of three principles that must always anchor our Union; whereas Commission President Juncker furthermore elaborated in this context that “Accepting and respecting a final judgement is what it means to be part of a Union based on the rule of law. Member States gave final jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice. The judgements of the Court have to be respected by all. To undermine them, or to undermine the independence of national courts, is to strip citizens of their fundamental rights. The rule of law is not optional in the European Union. It is a must.”;
  18. whereas the Commission has thus exceeded its implementing powers by modifying an essential regulatory element of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, contrary to the recognition of its limits of power in the court hearing in case T-521-14, contrary to its assertions in the Commission communication of 15 June 2016 and contrary to the fundamental Union principle of the rule of law evoked by Commission President Juncker;
  19. whereas the fact that the Commission exceeded its implementing powers is further corroborated by the statement in the summary report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017 that the new clause would be added in a new paragraph, separate from “the commandments” and separate from the principles of assessment so that it is no longer part of the criteria;
  20. whereas even if the developments in scientific and technical knowledge were to provide valid grounds for introducing a derogation as regards the approval conditions of substances with an intended endocrine mode of action, such a derogation could only be created through a legislative procedure to amend Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 in accordance with Article 294 TFEU;
  21. whereas according to the Seventh Environment Action Programme, “the Union will further develop and implement approaches to address … safety concerns related to endocrine disruptors in all relevant Union legislation. In particular, the Union will develop harmonised hazard-based criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors”;
  22. whereas according to the Commission roadmap, based on calls by the European Parliament
  23. and the Council, and reconfirmed by both co-legislators in the Seventh Environment Action Programme, the Commission should establish horizontal hazard-based scientific criteria to identify endocrine disrupters so as to enable their application in the wider legislation covering the regulation of endocrine disrupters in different regulatory settings;
  24. whereas the criteria in the draft regulation are however not fit for horizontal application in all relevant Union legislation due to at least two failures:
  25. failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters,
  26. failure to include read-across in the operative part of the data to be considered[13],
  27. and therefore not compatible with the aim and content of the Seventh Environment Action Programme;
  28. whereas the failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters means that no action can be taken against such substances, unless a complementary proposal is made to lay down criteria for them,
  29. whereas it would have been very relevant to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters so as to be able to achieve adequate protection against such substances in other sectors, e.g. for cosmetics, which include a ban on substances that are suspected of being carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (“CMR substances”), particularly since the Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 contains an obligation for the Commission to review that Regulation with regard to substances with endocrine-disrupting properties at the latest on 11 January 2015;
  30. whereas the failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters furthermore means that the draft regulation is not consistent with the existing classification system for CMR substances as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, which includes a classification of suspected CMR substances;
  31. whereas the failure to include read-across in the operative part means that in case the criteria of the draft regulation were to be applied in other areas, each substance would need to be tested on its own and no test data from related chemicals could be used, so that in the absence of substance-specific test data on adverse effects, a substance could not be determined to be an endocrine disrupter, which would therefore  reward lack of testing with non-action, and would require unnecessary animal testing to be carried out;
  32. whereas the failure to explicitly include read-across as part of the consideration of all available data is not consistent with the existing classification system for CMR substances as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, which explicitly includes read-across;
  33. whereas one key element in the draft regulation in order to determine whether a substance is an endocrine disrupter is the endocrine mode of action (the second “commandment”); whereas the draft regulation equates “endocrine mode of action” with “alters the function (s) of the endocrine system” to align it with the definition by the World Health Organisation referred to in recital 2 of the draft regulation;
  34. whereas the draft guidance gives a different definition for mode of action: “A biologically plausible sequence of key events leading to an observed effect supported by robust  experimental observations and mechanistic data. A mode of action describes key cytological and biochemical events – that is, those that are both measurable and necessary to the observed effect – in a logical framework”.
  35. whereas the guidance thus provides a far more demanding definition for the key term “mode of action” compared to that which is set out in the second commandment of the criteria, and so unduly raises the bar for identifying endocrine disrupters;
  36. whereas the reference to existing guidance on literature data to be used in point (1)(1)(b) of the draft regulation establishes a hierarchy, which gives preference to data generated in accordance with internationally agreed study protocols over other scientific data, yet such study protocols are only available for certain endpoints to test endocrine disrupters, so that there is a serious risk that independent data alone are not considered enough for determining a substance as an endocrine disrupter;
  37. Opposes adoption of the draft Commission regulation;
  38. Considers that the draft Commission regulation exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;


  1. Calls on the Commission to withdraw the draft regulation and submit a new one to the committee;
  2. Calls on the Commission to modify the draft regulation by deleting its last paragraph;
  3. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the guidance for the implementation of the hazard-based criteria to identify endocrine disruptors (EDs) in the context of Regulations (EC) No 1107/2009 and (EU) No 528/2012 is fully in line with the scientific criteria to determine endocrine-disrupting properties, including the weight of evidence approach of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008;
  4. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the same guidance clarifies that there is no hierarchy between scientific data generated in accordance with internationally agreed study protocols and other scientific data;
  5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


[1]      OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.

[2]      Judgment of the Court of Justice of 16 December 2015, T-521/14, Sweden v. Commission, ECLI:EU:T:2015:976.

[3]      P8_TA(2016)0270.

[4]      COM(2016) 0350.

[5]      P7_TA(2013)0091.

[6]      OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 171.

[7]      OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1.

[8]      OJ L 342, 22.12.2009, p. 59.

[9]      DOI: 10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2092, EFSA Journal 2011;9(2):2092.

[11]      Since the court case T-521/14 exists only in French and Swedish, the English version of the text is provided by the translation services of the European Parliament: ‘the specification of scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties may only be performed objectively, in the light of scientific data relating to that system, independently of all other considerations, in particular economic ones’.

[12]    Since the court case T-521/14 exists only in French and Swedish, the English version of the text is provided by the translation services of the European Parliament: ‘In this context, it is important to note that, when adopting Regulation No 528/2012, the legislature weighed up the objective of improving the internal market and that of protecting human health, animal health and the environment, arriving at conclusions which the Commission must respect and cannot call into question…. In the context of the exercise of the powers delegated to it by the legislator, the Commission cannot call that balance into question, a fact which, moreover, that institution has in essence accepted during the hearing.’

[13]    Read-across involves the use of relevant information from analogous substance(s) to predict properties for the‘target’ substance(s) under consideration [see “Read-across assessment Framework”, ECHA, 2017,]