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The People's Agents and the Battle to Protect the American PublicSpecial Interests, Government, and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment$
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Rena Steinzor and Sidney Shapiro

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226772028

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226772042.001.0001

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Public Interest Lost

Public Interest Lost

(p.3) Chapter One Public Interest Lost
The People's Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public
University of Chicago Press

The fundamental principle—that government has a vital role to play in protecting people from harm—could lead to endless arguments in the arena of traditional social welfare programs over exactly when individual people cannot help themselves. But in the arena of protecting health, safety, and the environment, it is a serviceable, working proposition: when the threats are polluted urban air, dangerous drugs, and unsafe workplaces, individuals need government because control over the threat lies with someone else. This chapter introduces the five most important federal “protector agencies” created to shoulder these responsibilities—the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Keywords:   government, health, safety, environment, federal agencies, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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