Women in Europe for a Common Future
April 28, 2006
Substitute hazardous chemical women tell Bayer shareholders
Addressing shareholders and the board of multinational Bayer today at their annual grand meeting in Cologne, Germany, Women in Europe for a Common Future is asking the CEO and the shareholders to invest into finding safer alternatives for chemicals it produces, such as Bisphenol-A (1). "We expect from Bayer that they reinvest their profits from 2005 to conduct research into alternatives for this dangerous chemical" says Daniela Rosche, WECF chemicals expert. Continues Rosche: "The idea to substitute something that puts people at risk or causes damage for something that is safe is merely common sense".
According to Rosche, women's reproductive health is threatened due to exposure to Bisphenol-A and its suspected health effects such as breast cancer. Just last year, the scientific journal Nature (2) reported on research which confirmed that exposure to a very small doses Bisphenol-A already caused an increase in the density of breast tissue- a common risk factor for breast cancer. Moreover, the fetus and the embryo are at risk already at the womb where exposure to Bisphenol-A may cause long-term health effects to the reproductive system and other organs.
Women in Europe also demands that Bayer stops working against a strong EU chemicals policy reform (REACH), of which the substitution of the most hazardous substances is a main pillar. "Of course we know that such alternatives do not hang from trees, but we believe it is the duty of Bayer and other chemical companies to ensure their products are safe. This is an investment into a healthy future, a future they owe women and next generations."
1 Bisphenol-A is produced by Bayer as part of its material science branch. The chemicals is used in the making of polycarbonate plastics, used for baby bottles, various kinds of food packaging and the lining of food cans, dental fillings, CDs and many more.
2 http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050502/pdf/050502-1.pdf, http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/146/9/4138?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=Munoz&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT
Women in Europe for a Common Future is a network of organisations and individuals working for sustainable development, protection of human health and the environment, and poverty reduction. Our international network consists of members and partners in Western and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.