The European Commission has launched a public consultation on possible EU measures to increase the transparency of nanomaterials on the European market.  The consultation is the first step of a Commission drafting procedure that is likely to end in a proposal for a Regulation on an EU Nano-Registry that the Commission could formally present by Spring 2015.

The Commission’s consultation aims at gathering the views of the public on the currently available information on nanomaterials on the market, whether the information available is sufficient to guarantee the safe use of nanomaterials and products containing them and informed consumer choice, and the different options to address any lack of information.  The consultation will contribute to the preparation of an impact assessment of a possible future Commission proposal.
Continue Reading The European Commission Launches a Public Consultation on a EU Nano-Registry

This post was originally published as a Covington E-Alert

Very recently, the General Court of the European Union held that European institutions and agencies (e.g., European Commission, ECHA, EFSA, EMA) must disclose to the public, upon their request, information on the impurities and composition of substances emitted into the environment even if this may affect the commercial interests and intellectual property rights of the companies that developed the products.

The Court ruled against a European Commission decision that denied two NGOs access to several documents relating to the approval of the active substance glyphosate in plant protection products.  The refusal was based on the need to protect the commercial interests of the manufacturers of the substance. The Court held that Regulation 1367/2006 on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Community Institutions and Bodies (“Aarhus Regulation”) requires EU institutions and bodies to disclose information if it “relates to emissions into the environment” even if it can undermine the commercial interests of companies.  This applies to any information that “relates in a sufficiently direct manner to emissions into the environment.” The Court found that information concerning the identification and quantity of impurities contained in the substances meets that definition.
Continue Reading EU Court Requires EU Authorities to Disclose Information on Impurities and Composition of Substances Submitted by Companies