The European Parliament has approved a monster piece of legislation that attempts to regulate the vast chemicals industry. It is known as REACH, or the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of ChemicalsIt has taken two years of intense discussion to get to this stage amid one of the biggest lobbying campaigns in EU history. Yet it appears to please few people and has critics on all sides. The law is the result of complicated chains of compromise that have thrashed out a document with over 1,000 amendments. Some say these alterations have halved the number of chemicals to be controlled to 15,000 and exempt 90 per cent of small-volume trades, making the legislation toothless. Others say the law is fundamentally flawed and will cost billions in lost jobs and sales as unnecessary costs will make Europe’s chemicals sector, the world’s biggest, uncompetitive. Green European parliamentarians have been demonstrating in Strasbourg during the debate, complaining that the law is long overdue and that it does not go far enough in addressing health and safety issues.