Anti-Regulatory Forces Target Agency Science to Undermine Health and Safety Standards

As committees of the 113th Congress begin to implement their agendas, it is increasingly apparent that environmental and health standards, and the science serving as the basis for these protections, will remain a favorite target of anti-regulatory legislators. Last session's industry-supported proposals to change scientific assessment programs would undermine environmental, health, and safety standards, yet they are likely to reappear. Meanwhile, new investigations underscore that these measures ignore the real impediments to improving the credibility and usefulness of agency science and risk assessments.

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The Obama Administration's Regulatory Agenda: Many Overdue Rules Need to Be Finalized to Fulfill Legislative and Public Safety Promises

Each year, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is supposed to publish two agendas of planned rules and at least one regulatory plan summarizing economically significant rulemakings likely to move forward in the near future. In 2012, the Obama administration skipped the spring agenda entirely and did not publish the fall agenda until December, likely because of the elections. The plan that finally emerged contains some positive measures but does not go far enough to significantly advance consumer, workplace safety, or environmental protections.

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Vote Imminent on House Bill that Would Shut Down Safeguards

The House will vote later this week on the misleadingly titled "Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act." The bill is a brazen attempt to shut down the system of public safeguards that protects our air, water, food, consumer products, and economy and would do nothing to create jobs.

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Cutting Costs and Courting Contamination: What Food Safety Budget Cuts Mean for Public Safety

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the federal regulator of meat, poultry, and egg products, faces resource limitations that make it more difficult for the agency to ensure the safety of the food supply. New plans to cut costs could have severe consequences for public health and safety.

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The Regulatory Freeze Act: Legislation to Make the World More Dangerous and the Economy Weaker

The so-called Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act, reported out of the House Judiciary Committee earlier today, is the clearest example yet of just how broken the national debate on public protections has become. This bill is ostensibly about getting Americans back to work, but the bill contains no provisions to address unemployment. Instead, it would gut the system of public protections that underpins our entire economy.

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Third-Party Audits Aren't a Panacea for Increasing Safety

The third-party audit system, in which private companies take over responsibility for inspecting worksites and production facilities, has been shown to expose Americans to significant health and safety risks while eating, working, and breathing.

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Secrecy Still Protects Genetically Modified Foods from Disclosure

The use of genetically engineered (GE) crops has increased enormously over the last decade, without a corresponding increase in government oversight. Industry has fought hard against strict oversight and testing and has even blocked efforts to label GE food products as such, leaving U.S. consumers in the dark about how their food is produced and what it contains. As consumers have become increasingly concerned about food safety and health, demands for federal and state food labeling legislation have intensified.

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House Attack on Public Protections Continues with Passage of the REINS Act

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2011—The House today passed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), represents an extreme attack on safeguards that protect our environment, food, children's toys, workplaces, health, civil rights, and economy.

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House Passes Regulatory Accountability Act in Attempt to Make It More Difficult to Protect the Public

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2011—Today, the House passed the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), which was sponsored by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN). The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, would make it far more difficult to protect the public from environmental, health, safety, and economic hazards.

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Regulatory Accountability Act Threatens Essential Public Protections

For the past six decades, our nation's system of public protections has developed safeguards that protect us from health and safety threats. Now, however, the misleadingly titled Regulatory Accountability Act could turn this system on its head, allowing more special interest influence and inviting endless rounds of litigation.

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