USA urged to support EU chemical reform

Green movement presses George Bush after indications of official concern over Reach plan

Europe's major environmental groups have joined an appeal launched yesterday by American NGOs, urging president George Bush not to undermine proposed reforms of EU chemicals policy. In a letter signed by 56 US environmental, consumer, labour and health groups, the American government is asked instead to support the proposal for a new Reach chemicals control system.

The appeal follows dissemination earlier this year of a US government document criticising the Reach proposals. Testing would cost €9bn, take 36 years and cause the death of 13m animals, the "non-paper" states. It would also distort trade and competition and make life very difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises.

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