A report that details lobbying by the chemical industry and the Bush Administration to weaken a European Union chemicals proposal is ruffling feathers in Congress and the EU.
According to the report, the Bush Administration based its lobbying campaign solely on the American Chemistry Council's analysis of REACH's anticipated impacts, such as the estimate that the plan would cost billions of dollars to implement. The report found no evidence that the U.S. government performed its own analysis of REACH or subjected the ACC study to peer review.
Waxman says, "Many in Congress were surprised to learn of the intensity and one-sidedness of the Administration's multiyear campaign." He charges that the Bush Administration "dismissed the concerns of environmental and public health groups" and focused only on industry arguments about REACH.
"This report reveals that inordinate weight has been given to only one side of a highly complex argument," says Anthony Gooch, an EU spokesman. "We certainly are not prepared to give special attention to the demands of the U.S. chemical industry."
ACC responds, "The innuendo in [the House] report obscures the U.S. government's legitimate and wholly appropriate role in raising questions about the global impact of REACH." The industry group adds, "Any national or regional government that proposes a policy affecting a global industry has a responsibility to seek the input of other governments."