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June 13, 1977

Protecting the Nation's Health: The Problems of Regulation

JAMA. 1977;237(24):2652. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270510074037

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Protecting the Nation's Health is a review of those activities of government that regulate this country's environmental health status. The Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protective Agency lead the list of regulating bodies, which also include the Atomic Energy Commission, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, and certain branches of the Agriculture and Commerce Departments.

The historical development of these agencies by legislative enactment is outlined in the early chapters of the book. The book then attempts to describe procedure and philosophy in regulation in an effort to explain those factors that ultimately determine how far the regulatory agency can and should go.

The book explains the growing reluctance of the public to accept governmental decisions without question. It is generally attributed to scrutiny by the scientific community of research data, editorial reporting by the news media, and general credibility gaps within the government itself.

An epilogue offers a critique