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Thread: US Safe Vs. EU Safe
September 30th, 2010, 01:22 PM #1
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US Safe Vs. EU Safe
5. Europe Blocks US Toxic Products | Project Censored
Hundreds of companies located in the US produce or import hundreds of chemicals designated as dangerous by the European Union. Large amounts of these chemicals are being produced in thirty-seven states, in as many as eighty-seven sites per state, according to biochemist Richard Denison of Environmental Defense Fund, author of the report “Across the Pond: Assessing REACH’s First Big Impact on US Companies and Chemicals.”
Of the 267 chemicals on the potential REACH list, compiled by the International Chemical Secretariat in Sweden, only one third have ever been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and only two are regulated in any form under US law.
Industry’s evisceration of the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a host of regulatory agencies, has placed US firms in a position of unaccountability. As a result, American products are increasingly viewed with distrust on the global market.
When Europeans started imposing standards to protect people from dangerous products, the US chemical industry began flooding Brussels with lobbyists. The European Parliament and the European Commission (which are essentially the Congress and White House of the European Union) are now surrounded by Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton companies, as well as American Chamber of Commerce executives, all lobbying for less oversight of toxic products.
Schapiro observes, however, that to a great extent US-style lobbying doesn’t work in Europe, and in many cases is backfiring.
We are seeing an enormous global shift in power in which multinational companies are adapting to European standards based on the notion that regulation is actually good for business —thus rendering US standards irrelevant.
September 30th, 2010, 01:42 PM #2
I have to wonder what this means:
As a result of the contrast between US deregulation and the spreading European model of regulation, the US has become the dumping ground for toxic toys, electronics and cosmetics. We produce and consume the toxic materials, from which other countries around the world are protected.
The beauty of bureaucracy is to not uncover the problems at all, and if they are uncovered, to be able to shift and dilute blame so no one or group is held to fire.
So we have a few problems inherent in our system that I can identify:
- The ability of groups to lobby politicians - he who has the most money wins
- The ability of this lobbying to affect federal watchdog organizations
- The inability of politicians to act on the obvious negative influence of the lobby
- The difficulty, if congress actually acts, to hold any one person or group accountable
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