The Pump Handle looks at the response of various government agencies (notionally charged with protecting American people) to increasing information about the danger of diacetyl exposure, certainly to workers in the flavoring industry, and recently, to consumers of microwave popcorn. An excellent post, deserves wider reading!
The CDC, FDA, OSHA, EPA – federal agencies charged with protecting public health – each received a letter in July alerting them to the possible serious respiratory hazard to consumers who breathe in fumes from their artificially butter-flavored microwave popcorn. The warning should have resulted in some action by these agencies, but instead, they’ve done virtually nothing.
It appears that the Bush Administration’s efforts to destroy the regulatory system are succeeding; the agencies seem unable to mount a response to information that a well-functioning regulatory system would immediately pursue. The agencies aren’t even trying to connect the dots.
Read on. I moved to the US in 1997 and I’ve noticed a stark difference in the performance of the government agencies named here. I have no doubt that the agencies will eventually bounce back under the right circumstances, but it is disheartening how far agencies such as the EPA, once regarded as models of well run government (at least to a developing country!) have fallen.