Chemistry: for many greens a mysterious science, for me a good friend. The REACH legislation, at least partly a real GREEN success, has accompanied me for years of my professional life. Much of this directive is really good: for the first time, substances can be restricted in their use if there are better alternatives; the tens of thousands of “old substances” that were already on the market before the first chemicals law came into force in 1979 were finally examined; Consumers receive comprehensive information rights. Last year, AskREACH was launched as an app for particularly problematic substances. But there are still gaps in the size of barn doors: Fabrics that are only manufactured or imported in “small” sizes (1000 kg per year) do not need to be examined. Only 5% of the submitted data records are checked as part of the quality control. There are no additional requirements for nanomaterials. The burden of proof should be reversed for substances that tend to be problematic (precautionary principle!). I want to get involved here to make REACH better.

The outdated and non-transparent authorization procedure for pesticides is finally being put to the test. In April 2018, the EU Commission proposed a law to disclose the studies, and in September 2018, the draft final report of the “Special Committee for the EU Approval Process for Pesticides (PEST)” was published. Both documents contain good demands and approaches, such as the disclosure of studies and the study of long-term effects – but there is still a long way to go before implementation. Having worked in an independent chemical assessment laboratory for years, I know where the pitfalls and back doors are. Therefore I would like to accompany this process. Because: Even if at some point 100% organic farming is achieved, toxins must be tested and evaluated as best as possible.

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