The USA and European Safety Laws
In 2001, the European Union agreed to test potentially toxic substances used in products on sale within
Europe. The UK supported the agreement which is designed to identify the most dangerous chemicals threatening Europeans. These
include cancer causing substances. Only a small percentage of the 100,000 chemicals used in Europe are currently tested. The
agreement will force industry to provide evidence of the safety or hazards of chemicals. The European Commission estimates that the agreement would
save more than 4000 lives a year among chemical workers and many more among the general public.
In September 2003, leaked documents signed by USA Secretary of State, Colin Powell, show that the USA
administration has threatened Europe with trade sanctions if the agreement is implemented. The UK, although initially supportive of
the agreement, changes its mind and calls the agreement "disastrously wrong".
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