EU launches study on \"gender bending\" chemicals
BRUSSELS - The European Commission announced a 20 million euro ($18.07 million) research programme yesterday on hormone-mimicking chemicals which stand accused of attacking animal and human reproductive systems.
The research, in 10 countries, will look at the effects of endocrine disruptors on humans, aquatic wildlife and laboratory animals. The results will feed in to EU policies controlling the chemicals.
\"Our policies and regulations shall be based on sound scientific evidence and we shall upgrade our scientific capabilities to test chemicals on possible endocrine disruptive activities,\" EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said in a statement.
Some scientists have suggested a link between pesticides and certain chemicals used in plastics and other products to a fall in the human sperm count, increased testicular cancer and abnormalities in male sex organs.
Research has also suggested possible damage to wildlife from residual chemicals and pollution, but the chemicals industry says clear proof showing endocrine disruptors are to blame is rare.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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