Why Have Regulators Failed To Regulate?

Federal regulators such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have failed to classify most environmental chemicals as harmful because of outdated science, archaic regulations, and the failure to consider peer-reviewed, published studies conducted by university scientists.

Among the reasons for those failures:

  1. Most studies submitted for regulatory approval of a chemical are  conducted on mice or rats (The “murine model”). However, research conducted on a murine model is no guarantee that the same effects will be seen in humans. This disconnect is often cited as one of the main reasons why the majority of new pharmaceuticals which have shown promise in the murine lab tests fail in trials with humans.(Geerts, 2009)
  2. The effects of low-doses of environmental chemicals — which have been found in studies by universities and/or funded by the National Institutes of Health — have been dismissed by traditional toxicologists who rely on outdated scientific methods and do not accept more modern lab practices. (Vandenberg et al 2012)
  3. Federal regulatory agencies do not use the most current research conducted by universities in assessing risk. Instead, they rely on a set of rigid lab procedures created decades ago known as Good Laboratory Practices (GLP). GLP was created as a response to widespread abuses by private labs who were proven to have deliberately slanted studies to help chemical manufacturers receive regulatory approval. GLP has not evolved to use modern technologies developed in the past 20 years. (Myers et al, 2009)
  4. Some prominent murine studies (such as this one by the FDA) have passed GLP standards and yet been shown to be seriously flawed by bad science and inappropriate lab techniques.
  5. Regulatory agencies still rely primarily on industry reports, private lab research paid for by affected corporations,  and studies done by traditional toxicologists funded by chemical manufacturers.
  6. Diseases and syndromes such as cancer can have many causes or a combination of causes that may take years or decades to develop. Federal agencies and traditional toxicologists are hindered by a paradigm that demands a single cause for a single disease. That paradigm also requires there to be death or physical damage that can be observed by the naked eye or a simple optical microscope.