Scientists Council Backs Substance of Levin-Thompson Bill

Washington, DC–In a letter to Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), said the group strongly agreed with the key cost/benefit and risk assessment provisions of the Regulatory Improvement Act (S. 981).

“To ask the Federal government,” Whelan said, “to make use of better, modern decision-making tools such as cost-benefit and risk-analysis safeguards is plain common sense, good public policy and good science.”

With respect to concerns that the measure’s cost-benefit and risk-assessment provisions might not protect against hazards such as tainted meat, toxic wastes and polluted water, Whelan said “these fears represent a basic misunderstanding of cost-benefit and risk assessment because such tests would be the strongest evidence that regulation is indeed necessary.”

Thompson said, “I am very pleased that this respected group of prominent scientists and physicians would support the key elements of the Regulatory Improvement Act. The Levin-Thompson bill requires the federal government to make better use of modern decision-making tools such as risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, which are currently under-utilized. Right now, these tools are simply options–options which are not used as often or as well as they should be. Our legislation will help the government focus money and other resources on the most serious problems.”

The American Council on Science and Health is a non-profit, consumer-education consortium of more than 250 leading scientists and physicians. The association publishes numerous materials on important health topics, which are available on their web page at