COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: WWF-UK hits back after ad ban

SIMON ELLERY

WWF-UK is hatching a campaign to counter growing fears that industry lobby groups are weakening EU chemical safety rules.

The move comes after the chemical industry successfully banned an advert by WWF that pictured an unborn child with a warning that man-made chemicals contaminate our bodies (Third Sector, 4 December).

The Advertising Standards Authority rejected six scientific complaints about the advert but still opted for a ban on the grounds that the image was "unduly alarming". WWF said it was disappointed with the verdict but ruled out mounting a legal challenge as the cost "could not be justified".

Instead the organisation is preparing a wide-ranging campaign to persuade Brussels to adopt tough measures under the EU Future Chemicals Strategy.

The European Commission is expected to publish the draft rules in the spring.

WWF sources in Brussels claim that the chemical industry is already making "significant inroads into corroding the legislation so it will end up toothless and provide no public protection".

The charity plans to publish several reports highlighting the levels of chemicals in our bodies. It will then target mothers and grandmothers - along with professionals such as scientists - to lobby their MPs and MEPs. The charity is also expected to mount further advertising campaigns.

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