strategy that is going to lay out the needs, the objectives, and the strategies for meeting the objectives, and a global plan of action to identify what would be done, when, and by whom. The expectation is that the development of SAICM will raise the visibility of the issue and will clarify the needs of countries. It will likely lead to increased control and/or regulation of chemicals in all countries, but it is hoped in a more coordinated and consistent fashion across the globe.
During the discussion, one participant noted the real need to encourage sustainable chemicals by embedding economic advantages to the next generation of chemical innovation—more than simply chemical management. Goldman noted that any new chemical is going to receive more scrutiny than something currently on the market. Although this creates a disincentive to bring forward something new, the expectation is that more stringent regulation does drive people toward improvement. This reasoning will drive industry toward green chemistry and alternatives. Goldman noted that the opposite could also occur. When REACH is enacted in the European Union, the United States, with a weaker chemical law, may become a dumping ground for chemicals that are no longer acceptable for use in Europe. Buccini noted that this has happened in the past. When the OECD decided to exclude the production of brominated flame retardants, the production was shifted to the developing world where the manufacturing processes were poor and finished goods were imported into OECD countries. Buccini concluded that if one wants to race toward sustainability in a country, one has to look at the global implications. The approach needs to reflect developments at a global level; otherwise, one may be merely redistributing risk to other countries.