EU governments square the circle on Reach

First reading agreement greeted as good balance between health/environment and competitiveness

EU competitiveness ministers reached unanimous first-reading political agreement on the Reach chemical policy reform regulation on Tuesday. British science and innovation minister David Sainsbury called the deal a "huge leap forward" for health and environmental protection that would also safeguard industrial competitiveness.

The council's version now looks unlikely to change significantly. The text was also endorsed by the European commission, giving it a combined level of support that will make it difficult for the European parliament to push for tougher restrictions on the most dangerous chemicals.

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