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Keep Misuing Me, Please
Alan AtKisson, 28 Jul 05

The European Union, despite the deafening new Growth And Jobs mantra of the Barroso-led Commission, continues to make new rules that tug the rest of the world toward greater sanity. Earlier this month, the European Parliament banned six chemicals -- proven to be cancer-causing if ingested -- from use in PVC-based plastic toys for children. This will effect all toys sold in the EU, regardless of where they are manufactured.

Industry complained, of course, but in an interesting way: "Their decision to ban DINP in all toys which can be put in the mouth is an entirely political decision that misuses the precautionary principle." By saying so, the European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates seems to agree that the precautionary principle is worth using. (A closer reading of their website suggests otherwise, of course: "if we applied this principle to normal everyday activities," they write elsewhere, "we probably would not get in our cars to drive to work or cross a busy road.")

Memo to the EU:
May the misuse continue!

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Nice way of putting it, Alan.

Just a thought:
-industry continuously threatens to take away our jobs and move to China or some other place where there are no social protections or no environmental regulations or no strict product standards.
-they are the ones who are lobbying to get our high standards here down, else they will go over there, where there are no such standards.

It's nice to see the EU becoming the continent that systematically lobbies to get the standards over there as high as the ones over here (not just talking about product standards, but also about social, environmental and other rules). So that we get a global level playing field.

I think that by introducing such measures as this particular plastic ban, the EU is well on its way to force others, in the entire world, into more sanity.

It's a difficult exercise though, because the EU risks losing jobs and may weaken its economy; but despite this, it pushes forward.

The EU has definitely become the world leader in global ethics. Invaluable.

Posted by: Lorenzo on 28 Jul 05



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