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Public Health and Safety Fails. Citizen Initiative can Replace EPA/FDA 'Protection'
06-22-2011, 07:04 AM,
#1
Lightbulb  Public Health and Safety Fails. Citizen Initiative can Replace EPA/FDA 'Protection'
In response (Digg article) to a recent bill presented to regulate cleaning chemicals, product additives many of which have been widely known to be toxic for decades.

The EPA has dropped the ball. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) will likely over-regulate like Canada's Consumer Product Safety Act (C-36 passed late 2010).

Solution. Come up with a private citizens' initiative and get the information out. In a connected world we can all collect data, file reports publicly, audit the process, perform the chemistry, analyze the bio-chemical reactions and do the research that the FDA and the EPA should be doing but without the corruption. In doing so we can make those dud agencies moot and therefore make a call to have them dissolved and finance other public ventures or maybe even reduce the tax burden levied by impotent protection bodies.

Yes it's a bit of extra work but a consumer driven process would be far more effective and credible. We can better choose what to use given some insight on these products. We can decide for ourselves and the buyer will dictate each items prevalence on the market.

In the meantime use natural alternatives to substitute the substances whose safety we are uncertain of. Baking soda, vinegar, club soda..

We're caught in a quandary of framed debate in the wrestling match style debate of big mommy regulation vs big daddy corporate poison dealing. Don't like it? We have the alternatives of not buying. We have the option to do our own homework as, obviously, the EPA and FDA have proved virtually useless -- unless you are a crony corporation looking to get something to market with the illusion that it's safe. That false sense of security compounds the danger of having toxic products available. In all too many cases, such as the items up for regulation in the TSCA it's far too late in pulling the trigger, be it by incompetence or by nefarious collaboration with select players in the commercial sector.

These publicly funded committees have also been historically effective as a corporate tool to leverage against competitive products that challenge the market share with the weapons of red tape, study fees and outright denial in suspect judgments.



Update:

In a quick analysis of the bill it seems more and more like bill C-36 in Canada in requiring a huge amount of import and export certification, disclosure of confidential information and the distribution limits don't allow anything to be conveyed to anyone in the US but omits any mention of conveyance to anyone outside the US.

TITLE 15--COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 53--TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=BROWSE&TITLE=15USCC53

Grounds for inspection, filing paperwork and seizure are so broad it encompasses practically anything.

Quote:.. under Section 8(e), that any person who manufactures (including imports), processes, or distributes in commerce a chemical substance or mixture and who obtains information which reasonably supports the conclusion that such substance or mixture presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment to immediately inform EPA, except where EPA has been adequately informed of such information.

EPA screens all TSCA b§8(e) submissions as well as voluntary "For Your Information" (FYI) submissions. The latter are not required by law, but are submitted by industry and public interest groups for a variety of reasons.

It's really invasive in obtaining records and even taking documentation even trade secrets from businesses - but hey they need to tell you...

Quote:(B)(i) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to the release of
information under paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of subsection (a) of
this section, except that the Administrator may not release data under
paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this section unless the Administrator
has notified each manufacturer, processor, and distributor in commerce
who submitted such data of such release.

Congress has a free pass to obtain any information they want.

Quote:(e) Access by Congress

Notwithstanding any limitation contained in this section or any
other provision of law, all information reported to or otherwise
obtained by the Administrator (or any representative of the
Administrator) under this chapter shall be made available, upon written
request of any duly authorized committee of the Congress, to such
committee.

Even in breaking the lax procedure the penalty for disclosure of information could be interpreted as negligible in regards to the accessing and distributing sensitive information -- and that's only if they get nabbed in the act and willful intent to illegally distribute is proven. Also note that the offender can be of non-US nationality so obviously foreign persons are involved in the line of disclosure.

Quote:(d) Criminal penalty for wrongful disclosure

(1) Any officer or employee of the United States or former officer
or employee of the United States, who by virtue of such employment or official position has
obtained possession of, or has access to, material the disclosure of
which is prohibited by subsection (a) of this section, and who knowing
that disclosure of such material is prohibited by such subsection,
willfully discloses the material in any manner to any person not
entitled to receive it, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not
more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

Section 1905 of title 18 does not apply with respect to the publishing,
divulging, disclosure, or making known of, or making available,
information reported or otherwise obtained under this chapter.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), any contractor with the
United States who is furnished information as authorized by subsection
(a)(2) of this section, and any employee of any such contractor, shall
be considered to be an employee of the United States.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=RETRIEVE&FILE=$$xa$$busc15.wais&start=9724347&SIZE=7758&TYPE=TEXT

Interesting exception for anything deemed as an experimental pesticide.

Quote:(g) A person who manufactures or imports a chemical substance in small quantities solely for research and development is not required to comply with the requirements of this section if the person's exclusive intention is to perform research and development activities solely for the purpose of determining whether the substance can be used as a pesticide.

To top it all off the seizure rolls are not limited to seizing it from a retailer and does not exempt private property of a bought good explicitly. Seisure also allows with the use of the term as 'nearly as possible' to operate outside the normal proceedings of seizure under admiral law. So it is plausible that items can be seized by storm troopers by any means from anyone if deemed necessary.

Quote:b) Seizure

Any chemical substance, mixture, or product subject to subchapter IV
of this chapter which was manufactured, processed, or distributed in
commerce in violation of this chapter or any rule promulgated or order
issued under this chapter or any article containing such a substance or
mixture shall be liable to be proceeded against, by process of libel,
for the seizure and condemnation of such substance, mixture, product, or
article, in any district court of the United States within the
jurisdiction of which such substance, mixture, product, or article is
found.
Such proceedings shall conform as nearly as possible to
proceedings in rem in admiralty.

.. but it's to protect the children.

It's uncanny how much this bill emulates Canada's Bill C-36, which I critiqued extensively and fought against tooth and nail.

I haven't read the entire text but I've seen enough to infer this draconian bill greatly increases the powers of the police state to selectively erect barriers to commerce, lord surveillance over every transaction, steal trade secrets with little recourse and repossess private property for anything that the EPA determines could harm people or the environment when determined a threat by the EPA.

The EPA isn't even an institution of elected officials.

Sources:

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=BROWSE&TITLE=15USCC53
http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/existingchemicals/pubs/tscainventory/index.html
http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/laws/tsca.html
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=RETRIEVE&FILE=$$xa$$busc15.wais&start=9738179&SIZE=5474&TYPE=TEXT
http://www.epa.gov/oppt/import-export/pubs/checklist.pdf
http://www.epa.gov/oppt/chemtest/pubs/sect8a.html
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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06-23-2011, 08:42 AM,
#2
Information  RE: Public Health and Safety Fails. Citizen Initiative can Replace EPA/FDA 'Protection'
To make the bill more palatable the US Senate is bundling an amending bill in the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

It forces business to self-audit their own products to prove they are safe to humans and the environment.

Quote:.. manufacturers and processors of chemicals
should supply sufficient health and environmental information before distributing products in commerce .. and to spur innovations in green chemistry.

It's stated goal is reviewing all chemical substances for safety and identifying the highest priority chemical substances for expedited review; determining whether chemical substances in commerce meet the safety standard under this title;

The specifics on the documentation for include the molecular structure of a chemical substance, great for analysis but it essentially releases all trade secrets for chemical innovations. End result = mass hijacking of US ingenuity by China et al where they can, no doubt, produce it cheaper and implode the US chemical manufacturing sector. This is contrary to one of the primary stated goals of the bill in bringing back the US manufacturing sector.

Safe Chemicals Act of 2011
http://lautenberg.senate.gov/assets/SafeChem.pdf

.pdf   SafeChem.pdf (Size: 224.74 KB / Downloads: 67)

There are plenty of positive items in this act including the fact that foods and additives are not exempt from review. The fact that all chemicals will be up for review, but all are not necessarily to be reviewed. The basis for deciding what is short-listed for expeditious review is done by the EPA with the consultation by the Director of The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. There is issue with this in that in that is not taken to court and determined solely by the Administrator who might have a conflict of interest in awarding payment. Also payment can take up to 5 years.

Reviews are to take place every three years.

There is recourse for comprehensive reimbursement for false alarms (exemptions). Good and bad, depends on implementation - there is room for abuse but it protects business from frivolous expenses at the behest of the EPA.

LOOPHOLE:

Quote:No person may manufacture or process a new chemical substance unless:

It is not expected to be manufactured in a volume of more than 1,000,000 pounds annually;

Concentration can be altered, and expectations differ from reality and different substances have different toxicity threshold. 1 million pounds seems an arbitrary number.

Some safety information will be publicly available on a website but not the nature of the testing.

LOOPHOLE: equivalent to a chemical substance. We've seen broad use this before; in the clearing of GMOs stating they were equivalent - DNA is DNA, protein is protein, so there was no review. GMOs (among other things) will likely get through because of this.

There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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06-23-2011, 08:50 AM,
#3
RE: Public Health and Safety Fails. Citizen Initiative can Replace EPA/FDA 'Protection'
Hey this is GREAT NEWS. Self auditing has worked so well with the federal reserve, we should expand it into the private sector.

In fact, lets expand it in to the public sector as well. We can "self Police" ourselves and I PROMISE I will arrest myself if I break ANY law.

=]
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