A new directive on trade secrets being produced by the European Commission is strongly criticized by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).

They are particularly concerned that:

  • it contains an unreasonably broad definition of ‘trade secrets’
  • it offers overly-broad protection for companies
  • there are inadequate safeguards to ensure consumers, journalists and researchers have reliable access to data that is in the public interest.

Specifically, EPHA has drawn attention to the fact that:

  • pharmaceutical companies could argue that clinical trials data could be a ‘trade secret’
  • the chemical industry could use this directive to refuse to release information on chemicals in plastics, clothing and other products that can cause severe damage to the environment
  • the food industry is arguing that information on toxicological studies contains confidential business information and shouldn’t have to be disclosed.

To read the full statement, go to www.epha.org