European Commission meets worried scientists

Released on: February 17, 2008, 2:50 pm

Press Release Author: Antidote Europe ; Equivita

Industry: Healthcare

Press Release Summary: 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.

Press Release Body: Representatives of the scientific committees of Antidote Europe
(France) and Equivita (Italy) brought the following worrying trends to the attention
of Mr Frattini:
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 the
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.

Web Site:

Contact Details: Antidote Europe : Claude Reiss (33 (0)6 86 30 66 39) ; Andr
Mnache (44 7906 446 889)

Equivita : Fabrizia Pratesi (39.06.3220720 or 39.335.8444949)

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