EU Member States approve scientific criteria for endocrine disruptors

On 4 July, representatives of the EU Member States approved the European Commission proposal for scientific criteria concerning endocrine disruptors in plant protection products. Endocrine disruptors are naturally occurring or chemical substances that can disturb the hormone balance of humans and animals, resulting in permanent damage. These are forbidden unless the exposure of people to the substance is negligible. During the next three months, the proposal will be debated in the European Parliament and the European Council. The criteria will go into force following a transitional period of six months.

The scientific criteria for endocrine disruptors are based on the definition of these substances from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Guidance document

During the next six months, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will complete a joint guidance document for the exact application of these criteria. In the autumn, a draft of this guidance document will be available for review by stakeholders and the public. The new criteria will not only apply to new applications, but also to pending assessment or reassessment procedures for active substances.

Biocidal products

The European Commission also wants to implement the same criteria for biocidal products. This is because the hormone-disrupting characteristics of an active substance do not depend on the specific use of the substance. See CircaBC.


The Ctgb is cooperating on preparing the guidance document for the exact application of the criteria; as soon as the transitional period is over it will begin applying the proposed criteria.

For more information

You can read the most recent proposal, which has now been approved, here.

Details about the process of European decision-making can be consulted online on the website of the European Commission.

Frequently Asked Questions about endocrine disruptors