A Dangerous Eurohazard

Resident Fellow
Roger Bate

The EU's new regulations on pesticide use are designed to protect public health. But they could end up harming it instead. The EU is considering legislation that it hopes will help reduce pesticide levels in foods. By changing the way it assesses the potential health and environmental impacts of pesticides--moving to a hazard-based assessment based solely on chemical toxicity rather than the context in which the chemical is used--the legislation is likely to reduce the number of pesticides on the market, as well as how frequently they are used.

The legislation has been billed as a necessary and long overdue public-health reform. And while many of the substances targeted can cause cancer or mutations, when consumed in sufficiently high quantities and over an extended period of time, Europeans are not at risk from pesticide poisoning. The unintended consequences of this legislation will easily outweigh any public-health benefit. Quantifying its precise impact is impossible, hobbled by the legislation's ambiguous language and subsequent uncertainty about which chemicals it would actually ban. More importantly there is no rigorous, sciencebased assessment weighing the regulation's anticipated benefits against its inevitable costs. . . .

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Roger Bate is a resident fellow at AEI.

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The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

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Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

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