Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is leading the charge against European Union plans to more closely control chemicals, the Independent reports. The EU directive called Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (Reach) would require registration and assessments of risks posed by chemicals to human health and the environment. Some 30,000 substances would have to be registered. Powell "sent a cable to American embassies and consulates in Europe in an effort to combat the programme. The 11-paragraph 'action request' says that Reach could affect virtually all American exports," the Independent writes. The American Chamber of Commerce is also lobbying in Brussels against Reach, saying it "will impose excessive burdens and exaggerated costs on industry and generate an overwhelming bureaucracy. This will stifle innovation."
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