Breast Cancer UK welcomes Parliamentary Report on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Published 10 Mar 2015
Breast Cancer UK has welcomed a Parliamentary report released today (10th March 2015) which urges existing EU chemicals regulation to be maintainted as "failing to keep to such a course risks an unacceptable ‘race to the bottom’.”
The Environmental Audit Committee’s (EAC) Report on the Environmental Risks of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) aims to address some of the uncertainties surrounding the impact of TTIP on environmental regulation. Breast Cancer UK has welcome the Report's recognition that in some areas of regulation the US and EU have different approaches to standard setting and stated that, “The EU’s stronger focus on applying the precautionary principle in setting regulations should not be weakened as a result of efforts under TTIP.”
Breast Cancer UK particularly welcomes the EAC’s recommendations on chemicals regulation where they state the gulf was “particularly wide” and that existing regulation should be maintained. Also that environmental groups and agencies should be represented on the EU/US Regulatory Cooperation Council to "bolster its ability to fully weigh environment issues alongside the economic and trade consideration." On Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), the EAC Report states “that a compelling case for the inclusion of a [ISDS] in TTIP has not yet been made" and that the prospect of litigation under the proposed ISDS could “chill” future regulation.
Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Joan Walley MP, said: "The focus in TTIP has been on its potential for boosting transatlantic trade, but that must not be at the expense of throwing away hard-won environmental and public-health protections. As the TTIP negotiations proceed, the next Government will have to get itself involved, and ensure that the EU negotiators do not engage in a race to the bottom as it combines the two bloc’s regulatory systems. Europe must retain its right to regulate. That needs to be embedded in any treaty text. But more importantly, any Dispute Settlement provision must unambiguously deny US companies any opportunity to sue us when we look to introduce necessary environmental or public health safeguards."
Lynn Ladbrook, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer UK said “We warmly welcome this report from the Environmental Audit Committee. We share the Committee’s view that in the case of chemicals regulation there can be no “safety equivalence”. Proposals to try and converge EU and US chemicals regulations could lead to a weakening of the EU legislation that is designed to protect the environment and public health. We hope the Committee’s recommendation that the existing regulation of chemicals be maintained does not fall on deaf ears and strongly urge the Government to support an exclusion of regulations pertaining to chemicals from future TTIP negotiations.”
Breast Cancer UK’s submission so the EAC Inquiry can be found here:
Summary of Breast Cancer UK's submission to the EAC Inquiry:
- Breast Cancer UK expressed serious concerns that current proposals under TTIP could lead to a weakening of chemicals legislation designed to protect the environment and public health.
- The EU and U.S. currently have very different approaches to chemicals which makes convergence unfeasible and incompatible with promises to uphold the EU approach to regulation.
- TTIP threatens to undermine current EU chemicals regulation, delay or weaken proposed regulation of EDCs, prevent unilateral action on the part of member states and thwart innovation especially for greener chemistry.
- The proposed inclusion of the ISDS would undermine the states right to regulate in order to protect its environment and citizen’s health.
We recommended that:
- any terms implicating the regulation of chemicals be excluded from TTIP;
- the ISDS be excluded from TTIP;
- reassurances are sought in relation to the primacy of the precautionary principle;
- the EU continues to prioritise public health and does not elevate trade to a more important status.
Read Breast Cancer UK's submission to the EAC TTIP Inqiry on its website here