- February 12th, 2008
Commission meets worried scientists
Delegates representing two
NGOs concerned with public health and the environment met today with
Franco Frattini, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible
for Justice, Freedom and Security.
Representatives of the scientific
committees of Antidote Europe (France) and Equivita
(Italy) brought the following worrying trends to the attention of Mr
1. Disturbing European data: 3,2 million new cases of cancer
in 2006, an increase of 10% compared with 2004; 1,6 million cancer deaths
annually ; 8 million people affected with Alzheimer’s, with 2,5 million
new cases each year ; 15% of under-18s suffer from neurological problems.
2. The lack of a clear strategy to try to deal with these diseases
through prevention and the questionable outcome of the EU chemicals
program (REACH) in its current form. The REACH initiative (Registration,
Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), which entered
into force on 1st June 2007, whose aim is to assess the toxic risk of
the many thousands of chemicals in our environment, cannot be expected
to achieve this result unless it relies on modern scientific methods
– rather than continuing to rely on animal experiments - as is currently
3. The under-utilisation of modern scientific methods to replace
animal experiments. For example, the powerful science of toxicogenomics,
which is barely mentioned in the REACH legislation, and yet strongly
encouraged in the US by the prestigious National Research Council.
In this respect, Antidote Europe has recently lodged a complaint
with the EU ombudsman for not putting these modern tools to work sooner.
Media Contacts :
Antidote Europe : Claude
Reiss (33 (0)6 86 30 66 39) ; André Ménache (44 7906 446 889)
Equivita : Fabrizia Pratesi (39.06.3220720 or 39.335.8444949)