Health and Safety Regulations

September 6, 2019 • Volume 29, Issue 31
Is government oversight becoming too lax?
By Victoria Finkle


The federal government has played a central role in setting health and safety standards for the public for more than a century. But environmental advocates, product-safety experts and public health officials are concerned that the Trump administration's moves toward deregulation have weakened critical consumer safeguards in areas ranging from hog plants to baby strollers and much more. Meanwhile, fatal crashes of two new Boeing airplanes in less than six months have also put consumer safety back in the headlines, generating questions about whether companies have been given too much authority to self-regulate — a practice used in the aircraft industry that predates the Trump administration. Business officials and some conservatives argue that the shift toward deregulation is crucial for maintaining a strong economy. They also emphasize that no safety regime can protect consumers all the time. Still, policymakers continue to explore ways to improve the current system, including efforts to make product recalls more effective and to simplify the complex food safety network, among other initiatives.

Paul Njoroge (Getty Images/CQ Roll Call/Tom Williams)
Paul Njoroge, center, displays photos of his family as he talks with Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, at a congressional hearing in July. Njoroge's wife and children died in the crash of a Boeing 737 Max airplane in March that added to concerns about federal regulators' role in ensuring public health and safety. (Getty Images/CQ Roll Call/Tom Williams)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Consumer Protection
Feb. 24, 2023  Fake Online Reviews
Jul. 29, 2022  Medical Debt in America
May 07, 2021  Reining In Big Tech
Nov. 27, 2020  Protecting Consumer Finances
Sep. 27, 2019  ESG Investing
Sep. 06, 2019  Health and Safety Regulations
Mar. 16, 2018  The Fight Over Net Neutrality
Mar. 11, 2016  Arbitrating Disputes
Nov. 11, 2011  Google's Dominance
Jan. 23, 2009  Regulating Toxic Chemicals
Dec. 19, 2008  Limiting Lawsuits
Oct. 12, 2007  Consumer Safety
Feb. 17, 1978  Consumer Protection: Gains and Setbacks
Nov. 15, 1972  Toy Safety
Mar. 03, 1960  Consumer Protection
Congress Actions
Consumer Protection and Product Liability
Manufacturing and Industrial Production
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Regulation and Deregulation