Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence


Memorandum from the Co-operative Bank

  The Co-operative Bank is campaigning for Safer Chemicals, with campaign partners and leading environmental organisation WWF-UK. We share WWF's concerns regarding the current draft legislation and fully support its submission and recommendations (attached).

  We believe that UK Government should do all it can to ensure a robust new Chemical Regulation is put in place, one which prioritises "environmental, health and consumer protection" to safeguard future generations.

  In summary, we believe that particular attention should be made to developing EU Chemical Regulation which:

    —  encourages the phase out, and eventual elimination, of exposure to chemicals of very high concern (including persistent and very bioaccumulative chemicals);

    —  incorporates the substitution principle: chemicals of very high concern should only be authorised when there is no safer alternative, and an overwhelming societal need, and measures to minimise exposure are in place;

    —  employs the "precautionary principle", rather than resorting to demands for necessary proof of the serious and irreversible effects of these chemicals or recourse to animal testing to prove toxicity;

    —  holds industry responsible for the provision of sufficient toxicity data, in order that proper risk management can be undertaken;

    —  insists on compulsory data sharing to ensure duplicate animal testing is avoided; and

    —  ensures public access to all toxicity, fate, exposure, use categories and risk assessment data.

  The Co-operative Bank maintains that the UK Government is well placed to lead the way in supporting a robust Chemical Regulation, one that protects future generations of humans and wildlife, and we await the results of your inquiry with interest.

January 2004

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2004
Prepared 12 May 2004