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Consumers Cooperatives and REACH Javier Calvo, Policy Officer jcalvo@eurocoop.coop. European Community of Consumer Cooperatives. CEPI Seminar REACHing too far? Brussels, 1 December 2005. Outline. About Euro Coop REACH and consumers Euro Coop priorities

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consumers cooperatives and reach javier calvo policy officer jcalvo@eurocoop coop

Consumers Cooperatives and REACHJavier Calvo, Policy Officer jcalvo@eurocoop.coop

European Community of Consumer Cooperatives

CEPI Seminar REACHing too far?

Brussels, 1 December 2005

slide2

Outline

  • About Euro Coop
  • REACH and consumers
  • Euro Coop priorities
  • The EP plenary vote from a consumer perspective
  • Next steps
slide3

About Euro Coop

  • Euro Coop is the European Community of Consumer Co-operatives
  • Its members are the national organizations of consumer cooperatives in 17 European countries
  • Euro Coop represents over 3, 200 local and regional consumer cooperatives…
  • and more than 20 million consumer-members across Europe
slide4

About Euro Coop

  • Euro Coop represents the interests of consumers to the European Union
  • Euro Coop works towards empowering consumers with a wide range of rights
slide5

About Euro Coop

  • Consumer co-operatives work for the sustainable development of surrounding communities helping consumer-members in making informed buying choices
  • They contribute to sustainable production and consumption patens through the products and information offered to their consumer-members
slide6

Euro Coop Main areas of work

  • Consumer & Internal Market Policy
  • Food Policy
  • Environmental Policy
slide7

Euro Coop and the environment

  • Consumers are more and more concerned about environmental, animal welfare and health issues
  • The demand of environmentally friendly products is increasing (e.g. eco-labeled and Organic Farming products) all over the EU
slide8

Euro Coop and REACH

  • EURO COOP participated in the public consultation launched before the Commission proposal was presented
  • The proposal did not really take into account consumers……
slide9

REACH and consumers

  • even if they were mentioned in the first recital:
  • (1) The free movement of substances, on their own, in preparations and in articles, is an essential aspect of the internal market and contributes significantly to the health and well-being of consumers and workers, and to their social and economic interests, as well as to the competitiveness of the chemical industry.
slide10

REACH and consumers

  • Euro Coop believes that consumers will accept to pay the price of a strong REACH if it delivers a high level of protection for environment and human health
slide11

Euro Coop priorities

  • Development of the substitution principle: Ban of risky chemicals except in those cases where it can be proved that there is a public need and no safer substitute
  • A co-operative example of substitution:
  • The Coop - Group UK is implementing a Chemicals Strategy based on the precautionary principle for chemicals that have a potential adverse effect on health and environment
slide12

Euro Coop priorities

  • Co-op UK Retail is removing or ensuring that are not present in their Co-op brand products some chemicals that have been prioritized by a team of environmental specialists
  • E.g. Brominated flame retardants are no longer used within the Co-op garden furniture range
  • At the same time, Co-op UK works with manufacturers to find effective alternatives that are more benign in nature
slide13

Euro Coop priorities

  • The Right to know for consumers:
  • If we want consumers to be responsible, they must have the right to access information
  • There was not system in place to secure the flow of information from producers to consumers
  • Consumers had NO RIGHT to know
slide14

Euro Coop priorities

  • Safety information on substances through a strict registration system
  • Minimal animal testing
  • Protection of vulnerable populations
  • Labeling system
slide15

The EP plenary vote from a consumer perspective

Right to know for substances in articles

Article 31A

Consumers shall have the right to ask the producer or importer for information on the substances present in an article produced or imported by him.

Producers or importers shall, on request and within 15 working days, enable any individual consumer to obtain, free of charge, full details of safety and use information concerning the substances present in any article they have produced or imported.

slide16

The EP plenary vote from a consumer perspective

Right to know for substances and preparations

Article 114A

1. In order to help consumers to make safe and sustainable use of substances and preparations, manufacturers shall make available risk-based information, via an on-pack label on each unit placed on the market for sale to the consumer, that identifies risks associated with recommended use or foreseeable misuse situations (…)

slide17

The EP plenary vote from a consumer perspective

  • Presence of a representative of consumers in the Management Board of the Agency
  • Article 75, paragraph 1
  • (..) in addition, four representatives of interested parties (industry and consumer, worker and environmental protection organisations) shall be nominated by the Commission as members of the Management Board without voting rights.
slide18

The EP plenary vote from a consumer perspective

  • Other aspects:
  • Reinforcement of the substitution principle
  • Definition of vulnerable populations
  • Animal testing
slide19

Next steps

  • Provisions on substitution principle, vulnerable populations, animal testing and right to know should be supported by the Council
  • The Institutions should make sure that safety data on a high number of substances is provided by Industry