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Posts Tagged ‘regulations’

Finding Glimmers of Hope on Capitol Hill

The holidays are always a good time to take stock of the year, and to be grateful for the good things that happened. Although the media has labeled this the “do nothing” Congress, the news wasn’t all bad. Read More

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Don’t Mix Politics and Public Protections: Delays Harm Us All

For years, UCS has been making the case that science should inform the work of federal agencies, and that agency policies and rules should not be subject to political and corporate interference. When President George W. Bush was in office, the extent of that interference was quite blatant. John Graham, then head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), an obscure but powerful office within the Office of Management and Budget, did all he could to displace science and permit corporate pressure on the rulemaking process. Read More

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A Chemical Safety Law That Works for the People

Remember the precautionary principle?  It’s the approach that says that even when the science is uncertain about the harm a product or technology may cause, we should take steps to prevent the public and the environment from being exposed to that harm, until its safety can be demonstrated. It is the job of the business that wants to use or sell the product to prove that it is not harmful. Read More

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Our Chemical Safety Law Fails to Protect Us

It’s after Labor Day. You’re thinking about getting the kids back to school, resuming your doctoral studies, or just gearing up after vacation for a busy September. The last thing you want to think about is the soup of hazardous chemicals you’re exposed to every day. For more than 30 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has largely pursued the “ignorance is bliss” approach. That wasn’t the agency’s fault. It’s been rendered virtually impotent by TSCA. Not the opera, the Toxic Substances Control Act. Read More

Categories: Science and Democracy  

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When “Sound Science” Isn’t

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”George Orwell

When I cited that quotation while speaking to a group of students last year, many of them had a hard time grasping what I was getting at. So let me be clear. Orwell, in his classic dystopian novel, 1984, described what it was like to live under a government that believed it could change facts, and make citizens believe them. It could, for example, proclaim that two plus two equaled five, and that would become the new reality. Read More

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Don’t Be Fooled by the “Moderate” Tag: The Regulatory Accountability Act Threatens Federal Scientific Integrity

People of good will can disagree about the role of government in protecting the public from harm. Libertarians believe that less government is preferable, even when risks to public health and safety are substantial. Others, including many environmentalists, tend to see a much larger role for government in ensuring our access to clean air and water, and protection from toxic chemicals, tainted food, dangerous drugs and devices, and other harms. Read More

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Its Master’s Voice: The FDA’s Dependence on Drug Industry Fees

I’ve spent many years wondering why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been so slow to curb the rampant overuse of antibiotics in agriculture. Read More

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Shining A Light On Physician Payments: Delayed Rule Imperfect But Useful

Back in 2010, when Congress approved the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” it included a requirement to help all of us become more knowledgeable about our health care, and to reduce unacceptable conflicts of interest between physicians and drug and device makers. Read More

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Portman’s Proposals Would Endanger Both Science and Citizens

As expressed in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) clearly sees little value in regulation, and generally fails to consider the benefits of public safeguards or their necessity when it comes to protecting us from food-borne illnesses, economic meltdowns, and lead-laden toys. He has launched his anti-regulatory campaign despite the fact that economists respected by both liberals and conservatives have concluded that regulations’ impact on job creation may be mildly positive because they tend to spur innovation. Read More

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White House Messes with Air Pollution Science AGAIN

The Washington Post is reporting that the White House—again—is interfering with the EPA’s ability to set scientific air pollution standards. Last time, it was the president who prevented the EPA from strengthening the air quality standard for ozone, despite the unanimous advice of the agency’s independent scientific advisory committee. This time, the interference is coming from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Read More

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