Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Newest Greenie Campaign

Get ready for a slip in the quality of all your favorite stuff, in the name of "green chemistry." Marla Cone, the LAT reporter who never saw a chemical she liked, reports:
In a report to be released today, the researchers advise California legislators to pioneer a "green chemistry" strategy because the "United States has fallen behind globally in the move toward cleaner technologies."

Federal law is too weak to protect the public from toxic chemicals that can build up in the human body and the environment, so California should take the lead, said Michael Wilson, the report's lead author and assistant research scientist at UC Berkeley's Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.

Two Senate and Assembly committees commissioned the report to obtain advice on what role California should play in regulating toxic compounds. Legislators have debated many bills recently that would have banned or restricted individual chemicals, including ones in cosmetics, plastic and toys. But most were rejected after industries campaigned against them.
If these chemicals are so bad, prevalent and intrusive, why does America's average age keep increasing? I've asked Marla this myself, and didn't get a decent answer; on and on she reports on those bad, bad chemicals.

No matter, Europe handles chemicals differently, and if Europe's doing it, it must be good. The EU plan is called OVERREACH (I made up that "over" part; it's just REACH):
Under that plan, which was approved by the European Parliament and could become law at the end of this year, industries must provide safety and health data on about 30,000 chemicals and a new regulatory agency would review their use.
Unreported in Cone's article is the role of the John Edwards' of the world in all this. California's earlier attempt to reign in chemicals, Prop 64, has created a subclass (emphasis on "sub") of lawyers who sue endlessly over this company's or that company's failure to post proper warnings about the presence of Prop 64 listed chemicals in their workplaces -- you know, chemicals like estrogen and testosterone, which are, in fact, listed chemicals.

If the green chemists get their way, companies will have to whittle away endless resources on compiling safety and health data on all their chemicals, and the lawyers will be circling like buzzards, waiting for a micro-mistake here or there, so they can file their class action lawsuits and go searching for judges more sympathetic than intelligent.

All in California, already the most heavily regulated state in the nation.

Photo: Eccentrix
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