Lobby "deluge" on titanium dioxide, while labelling is postponed

As previously documented by Corporate Europe Observatory (Beyond the Pale, July 2018), The Guardian, and others, there has been a well-orchestrated and funded lobby campaign by the producers and industrial users of the whitener-chemical titanium dioxide to oppose its classification, which would require stringent labelling. As labelling a product as a potential cancer risk would be likely to increase consumer concern and reduce demand, industry is fighting hard to protect its profit margins. Now, new information has emerged through freedom of information requests in both London and Brussels which helps to further map lobbying contacts between industry and policy-makers.

The UK is Europe’s second biggest producer of titanium dioxide and according to information supplied by the UK government to Corporate Europe Observatory, in the year July 2017 - July 2018, there have been at least 11 interactions with industry on the subject of titanium dioxide (data collated here). These have included meetings or phone calls with officials at the Environment and Industry departments, as well as with UK health and safety officials. Industry lobbyists have included the trade associations British Coatings Federation (BCF); the European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink and Artists' Colours Industry (CEPE); the British Plastics Federation; and the Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) which featured substantially in our previous article (also see box below). Industry and UK officials have also been rubbing shoulders at EU level meetings to discuss titanium dioxide.

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