To classify as strongly and widely as possible, or not to – that is the EU’s question on titanium dioxide right now. The chemical is found in many everyday items including sunscreen and paint and is a “suspected carcinogen”. Discussion of the classification issue are underway, and what is already clear is that the controversy about corporate lobbying on this file is making some member states think again.
The political climate in the Czech Republic has grown increasingly repressive following the election of oligarch Andrej Babiš as prime minister in October 2017. With the Czech civil society space squeezed tighter and tighter by Babiš's government, we want to help draw attention to the duress and threats under which many progressive organisations and media outlets now have to work. In the following interview, our Czech board member Jakub Patočka explains what is at stake in the country as targeted defamation campaigns and funding withdrawals risk to make the work of critical NGOs and newspapers increasingly difficult.
Industry lobbyists are spending millions of euros to influence an upcoming EU decision on labelling titanium dioxide – found in everyday products like sunscreen – a “suspected carcinogen”. The lobbying is led by an unregistered trade association and a public relations consultancy; nonetheless, they appear to have the ear of member states and the European Commission.