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Report: Proposed EU Laws Threaten Chemical Industry

Up to 1.7 million jobs in Germany’s chemical industry could be at risk if the European Union proceeds with plans to regulate the sector, according to a study commissioned by the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Draft proposals published by the European Commission in May would force the industry to provide data on at least 30,000 chemical substances and could potentially “depress the German economy significantly" through decreases in investment and exports, a loss of innovation and considerably higher manufacturing costs, the study said. The proposals would effectively pass the burden of proof to the chemical companies who would be required to prove that their substances can be used safely or, failing that, that their benefits outweigh the risks of continuing use. The proposed law would cost EU companies up to €32 billion ($37.44bn) between now and 2020, according Commission estimates.