The Bhopal Medical Appeal has joined the signatories of a letter to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, urging the EU to revise its own Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The letter calls on the EU to include compulsory environmental standards in factory inspections which would oblige pharmaceutical companies to tackle an environmental crisis resulting from their manufacturing practices in India.
The letter states: “The devastating environmental and human health impacts from the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals are well-documented. India’s Environment Ministry classifies pharmaceutical manufacturing as a ‘red category’ activity owing to the hazardous waste it produces. However, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) discharges from factories are currently not regulated, and enforcement of existing pollution norms is extremely inadequate, as demonstrated by several studies and media stories. As a result of this, the lives of many people living in India’s pharmaceutical manufacturing hubs, such as Hyderabad, the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana, Baddi Barotiwala Nalagarh Industrial town in the foothills of Himachal Pradesh, SIPCOT Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, have been blighted by rampant pollution.”