U.S. criticizes planned EU chemicals law

Nov 30, 2005

U.S. officials are reportedly complaining about the European Union's intention to subject industry to new chemical regulations.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez said companies are concerned about a draft EU law requiring them to register some 30,000 substances with a new European chemicals agency, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

The proposed law, known as Reach -- for registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals -- is one of the most controversial pieces of EU legislation in recent years, and has sparked furious attacks from European business leaders, the Times reported.

The proposal has also resulted in criticism from several nations outside of Europe. They are upset the proposed law imposes the same requirements on foreign companies that sell chemicals in the EU, specifically requiring evidence the substances pose no threat to humans or the environment. Critics say that would likely require expensive testing, which could result in a substantial negative economic impact.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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