CHEM Trust is a UK based charity, working at UK, EU and International level.
It’s worth noting that many aspects of chemical regulation within the UK are actually controlled at EU level, with the UK government and MEPs participating in decisions. This means that CHEM Trust’s work at EU level has a direct impact on the UK.
Here is a selection of the work we do within the UK; you can get the latest news on our UK work by looking at all the blogs posts tagged with ‘UK’.
Participating in the UK Government’s Chemicals Stakeholder Forum
The UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum (UKCSF) advises the UK government on managing risks to the environment and to human health via the environment that may result from the production, distribution and use of chemicals. It has an independent chair, and representatives of different stakeholder groups, including CHEM Trust.
The forum meets quarterly, and the most frequent participant from CHEM Trust is our Policy Director Gwynne Lyons. In addition to participating in the meetings, we have also taken part in subgroups and submitted papers for discussion.
Our team has been involved in the stakeholder forum since it started, with both Gwynne Lyons and Michael Warhurst present at the first meeting back in October 2000.
Talking to the UK Government
In addition to the Chemicals Stakeholder Forum, we also have other meetings with officials and ministers in various departments and agencies, including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department of Health, and the Health Protection Agency. Some of these meetings are joint with other UK NGOs.
Working with other UK-based organisations
We collaborate with a range of other organisations in the UK, for example:
- We ran a workshop on chemicals at Friends of the Earth’s Base Camp campaigners event in June 2015 and in June 2016.
- We’ve invested significant time in helping Breast Cancer UK (BCUK) develop their Breast Cancer Manifesto, particularly focussing on the scientific aspects. The manifesto calls for tougher political action on BPA that has links to cause breast cancer.
- We joined Friends of the Earth and other groups in calling for the UK Treasury to have a new priority relating to environment and wellbeing.
- We gave a presentation on the circular economy and chemicals at the UK Sustainability Network for Standardisation annual event 2015.
- We gave a presentation on chemicals in products at the Organic Pharmacy conference in October 2014.
Working with UK Members of Parliament
CHEM Trust has worked with a number of UK MPs and contributed to UK Parliamentary inquiries, for example:
- We submitted written evidence on the impact of TTIP on chemicals regulation to the Environmental Audit Committee of the UK House of Commons, for their inquiry on TTIP and the Environment in the first half of 2015.
Working on fracking in the UK
CHEM Trust commissioned a report and briefing on Chemical Pollution from Fracking looking into the potential impacts fracking could have on both UK & EU wildlife and human health in terms of chemical pollution; the report was launched in June 2015.
The briefing particularly focussed on the North West UK as an example of an area that could be harmed due to chemical pollution from fracking, and it came out the weekend before two planning decisions were due to be made by Lancashire County Councils. The UK fracking industry association inaccurately criticised the report, as did Peter Lilley MP – our response to their claims is here. We also sent the briefing to the Lancashire councillors – they eventually voted against both fracking applications.
Recent UK Media coverage
We’ve recently been featured in a number of UK media stories, including:
- The Independent on Sunday recently featured our new Fracking briefing in their article “Fracking poses ‘significant’ risk to humans and should be temporarily banned across EU, says new report”
- The BBC has linked to our EDC FAQ in their article about TTIP “TTIP talks: Food fights block EU-US trade deal”
- The Daily Express has covered our EU level work in their article “Could the EU be putting lives at risk with plans to allow cancer-causing chemicals?“