Some dangerous chemicals will not be allowed on the market and about 30,000 substances used in everyday products will have to be registered in a central EU database under a landmark law approved yesterday.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg passed the legislation -- one of the most complex and far-reaching EU regulations ever -- in a second reading after years of haggling marked by intense lobbying by the multibillion-dollar European chemicals industry and by protests from environmentalists who sought more restraints on the industry.
The law, a compromise balancing health and environmental concerns against fears that excessive red tape would stifle business, puts the burden of proof on companies to show that industrial chemicals and substances used in everyday products ranging from detergents to toys are safe. It is likely to take effect in the middle of next year.
"It is a major step forward for public health, workers' safety and protection of the environment. In the end, we want to get rid of the most dangerous chemicals while boosting research and development in Europe," said Italian Socialist Guido Sacconi, who was charged with steering the legislation through the EU assembly.
Producers will have to register the properties of chemicals with an agency to be set up in Finland, which will have powers to ban those presenting major health threats. Companies will be required to gradually replace the most high-risk chemicals where safer alternatives exist. If no alternative exists, producers will have to submit a plan to develop one.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no