Contrasting early reactions to draft emerge

Greens demand more checks, tougher substitution rules; industry welcomes proposed new impact assessment

Strong early reactions emerged on Wednesday immediately after publication of the European Commission's draft Reach proposals. NGOs on one side of the debate and industry organisations on the other were quick to welcome the plan as "an important step" in European chemicals policy but eager to highlight its shortcomings.

Environmental group Greenpeace accused the Commission of putting "the interests of the chemical industry ahead of public health and the environment". It was particularly critical of provisions allowing hazardous substances to continue to be produced under "adequate control" conditions. It demanded that tougher rules imposing substitution whenever available be introduced as the package proceeds through parliament and council (see press release).

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