DG SANTE

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The European Commission proposal on scientific criteria defining endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is the latest dangerous outgrowth of a highly toxic debate. The chemical lobby, supported by certain Commission factions (notably DG SANTE and the Secretary-General) and some member states (UK and Germany), has put significant obstacles in the way of effective public health and environment regulation.

The voice of the Dutch Government has been loud and clear in Brussels on the issue of cisgenic plants. The Dutch have waged a sustained campaign to have new GM techniques – and in particular cisgenesis – excluded from EU GMO regulations. Several Dutch ministries, the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Permanent Representation in Brussels, and Dutch MEPs have energetically pursued this goal.

New research by Global Justice Now and Corporate Europe Observatory shows that 91 per cent of meetings held by UK trade ministers (from October 2016 to June 2017) and 70 per cent of meetings held by UK Brexit ministers have been with business, too often big business interests. This corporate bias in ministerial access is part of an ongoing trend that we have previously highlighted for both Brexit and trade ministers.

As we head towards 2018, it's important to take stock of some of this year’s highlights in our fight against the corporate capture of democracy.

Corporate Europe Observatory has started a new workstream to publish investigations which expose corporate lobby influence over the decision-making of the Council of the EU (member states) and how this impacts on resulting laws and policies. This is one of murkiest and least-known aspects of EU decision-making.

It took president Juncker over a year to propose new ethics rules for Commissioners after ex-President Barroso had shocked Europe with his new job at Goldman Sachs. A year of inaction later, the Commission is now in a hurry to implement a lackluster reform.