North West Jobs threatened by Commission Chemicals Legislation

The Rt.Hon Sir Robert Atkins MEP for the North West attacked the Commissions proposals to "register, evaluate and authorise" (REACH) nearly all chemicals in use within the European Union. Speaking in the Parliament's Industry Committee this week, the Tories European Industry Spokesman spelt out his objections very forcefully.

"The aims of this legislation are laudable but misplaced" he said " It will require over 30,000 current chemicals to be tested - most of them in regular harmless use for many years - and will use some 12 million animals. It will cost a fortune, involve a huge, interfering bureaucracy and result in the loss of over 650,000 jobs in the EU - many of them in Britain."

Sir Robert cited the example of the Ford Motor Company which estimates that the automotive industry alone would produce up to 85,000 chemical safety reports, based on production quantities not hazard.

"This is clearly unacceptable" concluded Sir Robert "and when the Parliament considers the REACH proposals in detail after the European Elections, radical improvements must be made.

Notes to editors:

The REACH (Registration Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction, of Chemicals) initiative is based upon the Commissions 2001 white Paper a 'Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy' which was published in February 2001. It is arguably the most significant development in European chemicals legislation and has far reaching implementations for the Chemicals industry within the EU.
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