Hope springs eternal in chemicals policy

If there is a crisis of public confidence in the chemical industry and its products, then it is difficult to see how the European Commission's White Paper on the future of EC chemicals policy (see pp 26-30 ) will provide any rapid solutions. The Commission wants to embark on a vast information-gathering exercise, pulling in data on 30,000 or so chemicals sold in larger tonnages; then set off on an evaluation, testing and risk assessment programme for a sub-set of 6,000 substances in co-operation with Member States; and finally use the findings to inform regulatory decisions - ranging from bans, to a new system of authorisations, to a continuation of unrestricted marketing.

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