May 22, 2014 / 8:57 PM / 6 years ago

Sweden to sue EU Commission over delays to rules on chemicals

Sweden's Minister of the Environment Lena Ek addresses delegates at the UN climate talks in Doha December 5, 2012.  REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden will sue the European Commission to force it to speed up work on identifying and banning chemicals some researchers say may disrupt human hormones and cause disease, the environment minister said on Thursday.

Lena Ek said the Commission was supposed to have drawn criteria for testing for suspected endocrine disruptors, found in everything from food and cleaning products to plastic containers.

But officials had failed to provide that information by a December 2013 deadline and her government would take the case to the European Court of Justice, she added.

“We have decided to sue the Commission because we want the court to force the Commission to deliver the scientific criteria so we can start moving toward a poison-free society,” Ek told Reuters.

A spokesman for the European Commission said it was aware of Sweden’s concerns about endocrine disruptors. “We take the issue very seriously and are doing our best to address it,” he said.

He said the Commission was trying to establish which criteria it should use to judge their impact on the environment and that their use in plant protection, for example, was already regulated.

Reporting by Johan Ahlander, additional reporting by John O'Donnell in Brussels

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