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On regulations

May 22, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 21

In the March 6 issue of C&EN (page 30), the feature article on aging quotes Joao Pedro De Magalhaes of the University of Liverpool: “If there’s such a big market for stuff that doesn’t work, imagine how much money there would be for something that does.”

The “stuff that doesn’t work” refers to antiaging treatments and regimens of all kinds, mostly (in my opinion) promulgated by the nutraceutical industry, which has successfully avoided regulation by FDA even though their products are largely ineffective and at times life threatening. Also, there have been numerous reports of inaccurate labeling of the contents of said products.

In the same issue, under Regulation, an article titled “Business leaders want to axe regulations” (page 13) cites antiregulation comments from the CEOs of Eastman Chemical and Dow Chemical.

While some regulations may be unduly burdensome and perhaps unnecessary, other areas like nutraceuticals desperately need regulation to end deceptive practices that bilk an unsuspecting and unknowing public.

Kayson Nyi
Sellersville, Pa.

Thank you for the balanced article “Paring back U.S. regulations” (C&EN, March 20, page 19). Having worked as a chemist and manager for large corporations in industry, I can attest to the burden of often redundant and burdensome regulations.

One aspect overlooked is that the complex mix of regulations gives large companies a distinct advantage over small companies and start-ups that can ill afford the army of regulatory and legal personnel needed to ensure compliance. Starting even a small service company is prohibitive without buying an existing one with these systems already documented and staffed. Small businesses are a source of employment, innovation, and competitiveness but are often discouraged or disallowed by regulatory requirements.

Thelma K. Kiser
Kingsport, Tenn.

After reading the article in the C&EN March 20 edition titled “Trump budget request sidelines science” (page 4), I had some concerns. As a Trump supporter for change and reducing federal spending, I agree that we are being overregulated, which is causing a burden to the chemical industry. I feel that regulations need to be scrutinized on how they affect the public and the industries involved. More self-governing of industry is a positive movement, but there still needs to be some mechanism in place to ensure that industry is looking at not only the bottom line but also the impacts their decisions have on the community. What we don’t want is safety and environmental regulations totally banned to the point where safety and environmental impacts will be detrimental to people in our communities.

Maybe what we need is more intense auditing of these safety and environmental concerns within industry, which will maintain the good outlook for the chemical industry and reduce federal spending due to overregulating. All I can hope for is that the Trump Administration work with the chemical industry to find a mutually agreeable solution to satisfy all the key parties impacted.

Cosmo V. Sabatino
Pepperell, Mass.


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