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Debates
Thursday, 18 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

A comprehensive European Union framework on endocrine disruptors (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Julie Girling, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, I’m actually speaking today on behalf of Mr Gieseke, who is not able to be with us. But I would like, on behalf of the PPE Group, to broadly support the motion that Parliament is putting forward. We are in line with the objective of formulating a comprehensive EU framework on endocrine disruptors.

The motion highlights a number of areas where work is required and I guess if this was a school report, it would have some phrases such as ‘must work a little bit harder’. We certainly need the pace of investigation and validation of data to be speeded up and, whilst I appreciate the Commissioner’s points about the fitness check and I wholeheartedly support them, we are concerned about speed and we are concerned about making sure that we don’t let this particular issue slip. There needs to be investment in the whole issue of substances (we have highlighted that in Parliament’s text), substances used in mixtures and their joint and several effects. There is broad consensus on that.

It’s been customary this week for Members to use their last speech in this Chamber and we’ve heard an awful lot of ‘this will be my last speech’. Well, I’d like to just go to that theme for a moment because for me, as a British MEP, I want to just mention one thing about Brexit and how it relates to this subject because Brexit has taught me a lot. It’s taught me never to pursue with blinkers on anything that’s ideological. Be very careful with decisions based on emotion, on gut feel, on belief. Be very careful about creating acts of faith, as opposed to action based on evidence. It can lead to disproportionate and damaging action that later causes regret and difficulties finding a way back.

What’s that got to do with endocrine disruptors? Well, I think rather a lot because we do hear quite a lot of what I would call ideological hysteria about endocrine disruptors. I’m thinking here about Amendment 1, which is a good example. We will not be supporting it in the PPE. It calls for the same actions for suspected endocrine disruptors as for proven endocrine disruptors. This goes too far, it goes too quickly and it’s not based on scientific evidence.

Secondly, on Brexit, we were told not to listen to experts. Well, on endocrine disruptors we must. We must look carefully at the scientific criteria and evaluate in a calm and systematic way. Broadly, we can support this statement. We do not support the amendments and we look forward in the next mandate to moving forward on this subject.

 
Last updated: 8 July 2019Legal notice