Search

 

Cablegate: Epa, Defra Seek Work-Sharing On Chemicals

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #3760/01 2751238
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021238Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5651
INFO RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RHMFIUU/HQ EPA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0400
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3028
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 2538

UNCLAS LONDON 003760

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

PARIS FOR OECD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAGR TSPL UK
SUBJECT: EPA, DEFRA Seek Work-Sharing on Chemicals
Regulation; Discuss Nanotechnology, Pesticides


1. (SBU) Summary: On September 18, EPA Assistant
Administrator for Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic
Substances Jim Gulliford discussed with DEFRA's
Chemicals Director John Roberts ways that EPA can
share work with the UK on assessments and
characterizations of chemicals. Implementation of
REACH, a new EU chemicals management program, will
cost the UK one billion dollars according to Roberts.
Oversight of nanotechnology is at the early stages,
and one of the lessons learned by DEFRA is the need
to assure careful management of proprietary
information. UK EU PermRep Ann Lambert is
shortlisted for Director of the European Chemicals
Agency. End summary.

Sharing Assessments Through OECD Chemicals Program
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. (SBU) Roberts said that the UK is very
interested in finding efficient ways to get the
information they need for assessing and
characterizing the environmental and health effects
of potentially dangerous chemicals and substances.
EPA's Gulliford said that EPA shares that interest
and would like to explore ways to share information
and test data so that expensive testing would not
have to be duplicated. Roberts and Gulliford agreed
that one possibility would be to exchange data under
the rubric of the OECD Chemicals Program. Roberts
added that the UK is strongly interested in reducing
the amount of animal testing. Martin Ward, Director
of Policy at the UK's Pesticide Safety Directorate,
who also attended the meeting, supported the work-
sharing idea, saying that it could save a lot of
unnecessary repetition.

Focus on Chemicals of Concern
-----------------------------

3. (SBU) Roberts described the UK's
green/yellow/red "traffic light" system that focuses
their attention on the "yellow light" chemicals that
are neither clearly safe nor clearly dangerous. It
is in that group, Roberts said, that rapid, effective
testing can make a difference. EPA's Charlie Auer,
Director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and
Toxics who accompanied Gulliford, said that EPA is
conducting research to establish relationships
between results obtained from a suite of "rapid
screen" lab tests and results from available toxicity
studies so that potentially toxic chemicals can be
identified quickly. Such a tool could be used to
identify and target what studies are needed, and to
avoid unnecessary animal testing. Roberts
acknowledged that animal testing is major issue in
the UK and expressed interest in the approach. On
mercury, Roberts said that it is clear that a
portfolio of flexible solutions has to be developed
to handle the various affected sectors, despite the
interest of "hardliners" in a single, binding
convention.

Government Needs Nanotech Information from Industry
--------------------------------------------- ------

4. (SBU) Roberts said that the UK needs to
cooperate with industry to understand and properly
regulate nanotechnology, but that industry is wary of
sharing sensitive proprietary information in the
absence of strong protections for the confidentiality
of such information (voluntary submissions in the UK
are subject to their "FOIA" requirements). In
addition, government has to do more outreach and
education of the many smaller firms in nanotechnology
that are not familiar with government reporting
practices, he said. Roberts added he also has to do
outreach within government to explain the benefits
and potential risks of nanotech.

REACH Compliance Will Cost UK $1 Billion
----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Roberts said that the UK would like to

participate more in the OECD Chemicals Program but
his small Chemicals Office is overwhelmed with
demands related to REACH implementation. He
estimated that REACH compliance would cost the UK $1
billion. He did not have any comments on REACH,
saying only that the effects of REACH on trade,
production and benefits to the environment are
unclear.

Brit Shortlisted for European Chemicals Agency
--------------------------------------------- -

6. (SBU) Roberts said that UK Deputy Permanent
Representative to the EU Anne Lambert is one of two
candidates shortlisted as director of the fledgling
European Chemicals Agency (EChA) in Helsinki. A
preliminary indication on her candidacy is expected
in October, Roberts said. See Lambert's bio at
http://ukrep.be/deprepcv.html.

7. EPA cleared this cable.

TUTTLE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>