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Official list of ‘endocrine disruptors’ published

The French government has published an official list of pesticide products currently in circulation suspected of containing ‘endocrine chemical disruptors’.

The list features more than 1 000 insect killer and sanitation products, including publicly available brands such as Baygon, Raid, and Stop Insectes.

The list publication - from Ecology minister Nicolas Hulot and Agriculture minister Stéphane Travert - comes just weeks after the European Commission (EC) voted on the definition of the chemicals known as ‘endocrine disruptors’ (known in French as perturbateurs endocriniens (PEs)).

The chemicals are said to be found in everything from pesticides to cosmetics, food, and children’s toys, and critics say the chemicals negatively affect the workings of the endocrine system in humans and animals, including the pituitary gland, thyroid, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, and the pancreas.

They are also said to exacerbate problems such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

France was pivotal in helping the EC’s definition vote pass, after the country changed its previous stance against, and decided to support the vote. It had previously agreed with the other opposing countries - Denmark and Sweden - that the definition did not go far enough to protect the environment or the public’s health.

The vote will now enable France to remove affected products from the market, and stop new such products being sold.

However, critics such as the NGO Générations Futures, maintain that the EC’s definition does not go far enough, and is calling on European deputies to vote against the 4 July decision, which it says does not address existing rules on pesticide use.

To date, the NGO’s petition on the subject has attracted over 10 500 signatures.  

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