Sweden's Environment minister Lena Ek. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT.

Sweden ready to take European Commission to court

The Swedish government is threatening to take the European Commission to court, saying the Commission is delaying issuing the criteria needed to prevent the use of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC's) currently found in antibiotic chemicals known as biocides, used in shoes and clothes.

The commission was supposed to have produced the list of critieria needed to ban the chemicals in December, but the responsible commissioner has delayed producing the list. Environmental groups fear he is giving in to pressure from the chemical industry.

In an interview with Swedish Radio News, Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek says: "We will send a letter to the commission, demanding that they do what they have promised, and what has been agreed on by the member states. If it isn't done within two months we will sue the commission", she says.

Suing the commission would be an unusual step, Sweden has only taken the commission to court seven times since joining the European Union in 1995.

EDC's can interfere with the endocrine system in humans, and can cause cancer and birth defects.

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