EU news and policy debates across languages


MEPs back new rules on nanomaterials in cosmetics


Stabilising the EU is a prerequisite to reigniting European growth

Robust regulatory frameworks are necessary if Europe is to reignite growth but innovation remains the great growth driver, writes Luca Rossi.

Cadmium ban in TVs: Balancing innovation and regulation

An iIll-considered regulation to ban cadmium from European TV sets could promote other toxic substances, while decreasing energy efficiency and stifling innovation, argues Jim Willis.

The EU needs more anticipatory funding of health and environmental research

In recent months, there have been several attacks on the Precautionary Principle and how the principle has been used in the EU. For example, the scientific advisor to the President of the European Commission, Ann Glover, has accused Commissioners of having “crazy ideas” about the safety of nanotechnologies, genetically modified organisms, shale gas, endocrine disrupters, etc. (See EU twisting facts to fit political agenda, chief scientist says and EU science advisor: 'Lots of policies are not based on evidence'.) Similarly, it has been argued that policymakers often misuse the precautionary principle.

Commission publishes health and safety strategy for EU workers

Every year more than three million workers are victims of a serious accident at work in the EU and 4,000 people die in workplace accidents. The Commission today (June 6) published a new strategy framework on Health and Safety at Work for 2014-2020.

Parliament rejects draft EU law allowing nanomaterials in food

The European Parliament rejected on Wednesday (12 March) the European Commission's proposed definition of nanomaterials added to food products.
Health & Consumers 14-02-2014

MEPs reject Commission's definition of nanomaterials in food

Lawmakers in the European Parliament's Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) have rejected on Wednesday (12 February) a proposed regulation which included a definition of "engineered nanomaterials" in food.

Europe 'has failed to learn from environmental disasters'

Europe has failed to learn the lessons from many environmental and health disasters like Chernobyl, leaded petrol and DDT insecticides, and is now ignoring warnings about bee deaths, GM food and nanotechnology, according to an 800-page report by the European Environment Agency.
NewsSpecial Report
Trade & Society 23-11-2012

Scientists eye nanotechnologies to boost crop yields

SPECIAL REPORT / SPECIAL REPORT / Nanotechnologies that deliver fertilisers to plants offer promising ways of improving farm productivity while reducing the risk of water contamination. But the scientists behind a new Swiss-funded study caution that while the technology is still evolving, potential risks must be considered.
Sustainable Dev. 04-10-2012

Greens, consumer groups rap Commission for nanomaterials report

The European Commission came under fire from Greens and consumer groups yesterday (3 October) for a report on nanotechnology, which stopped short of proposing specific EU regulation.
Sustainable Dev. 29-08-2012

Closing the loopholes on REACH

The upcoming review of the REACH chemicals regulation provides an opportunity to close the loopholes on the legislation and regulate nanomaterials, endocrine disrupters and chemical cocktails, writes Monique Goyens.

Nanotechnology: What Future for Nano in Europe?

Nanotechnology deals with particles which are invisible to the eye, but policy issues surrounding the technology are looming large. Nanotechnology opens a raft of opportunities for European business and consumers. How can the continent address public concerns with safety issues and novel technology to ensure that Europe does not get left behind in the nano race?

Commission's nano policy lost in definition

The European Commission's hesitance to define nanotechnology underscores diverging opinions among stakeholders and is causing uncertainty in the sector, it emerged this week.

Health & Consumers 26-10-2010

Nanotech presence in consumer goods growing

An inventory of consumer products containing nanomaterials shows that numbers have trebled over the past year, including likely Christmas shopping favourites such as "nanosilver antibacterial underwear".
Health & Consumers 15-09-2010

REACH register to ensure traceability of nanomaterials

Ahead of a regulatory review next year, the Belgian EU Presidency is proposing to create a specific register for nanomaterials under the bloc's REACH chemicals regulation and wants to make it mandatory to label their presence in consumer products.
Digital 14-07-2010

Kroes resists subsidies to spur EU smart tech

Despite low EU investment in research and development (R&D), Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes has rejected widespread recourse to state aid to narrow the gap with Europe's international competitors. 
NewsSpecial Report

Supermarkets urged to lead debate on nanotech in foods

SPECIAL REPORT / Big-name retailers like Tesco and Carrefour should help prepare consumers for innovations in the food sector, according to the top civil servant in the EU executive's directorate for health and consumer protection.

Germany opposed 'nano' label for cosmetics

Efforts by EU governments to force cosmetics manufacturers to inform consumers when products contain nanomaterials were resisted by Germany, it has emerged. 

EU to review nanomaterials policies

The EU executive plans to respond positively to the European Parliament's call for a number of EU policies and regulations covering health and environmental safety issues related to nanomaterials to be reviewed. 

Nanotech at risk of repeating 'GM food fiasco'

Decision-making on nanotechnology must become more democratic or Europe risks repeating "mistakes" made in managing genetically modified foods, according to a new report on science policy.

Lobbyists 'fuelling confusion' on nanotech, EU warns

The highest-ranked health official in the EU executive has hit out at lobby groups who stoke fear of nanotechnology. Robert Madelin, director-general at the European Commission's health and consumer affairs directorate, said it was "irresponsible" to use panic in order to attract attention.

Nanotech claims 'dropped' for fear of consumer recoil

Finding reliable information about products on the European market which currently contain nanomaterials is becoming increasingly difficult, according to high-level experts addressing a meeting of consumer groups from the EU and US.

MEPs back tougher rules for nanotechnology

The European Parliament last week backed a controversial report by Swedish Green MEP Carl Schlyter urging the European Commission to revise its stance on nanomaterials. MEPs said all nanomaterials should be considered as new substances, and that existing legislation does not take into account the risks associated with nanotechnology.

'No data, no market' for nanotechnologies, MEPs say

The European Parliament's environment committee this week adopted a report by Swedish Green MEP Carl Schlyter which calls for tighter controls on nanotechnology, including the application of the 'no data, no market' principle contained in the REACH Directive.

MEPs back new rules on nanomaterials in cosmetics

The European Parliament yesterday (24 March) updated legislation on cosmetics to take account of advances in nanotechnology. Reactions to the news have been mixed, with consumer groups urging earlier implementation of the proposal and Green MEPs unhappy with the definition of nanomaterials.