Postcard from Europe: The Precautionary Principle in Action

From: The Telegraph

Traditional Danish pastries threatened by EU cinnamon ban

Proposals for an EU ban on cinnamon rolls have put a dampener on Denmark’s Christmas festivities

By , Brussels

The season’s festivities in Denmark have been overshadowed by the prospect   that it could be the last Danish Christmas before a European Union ban on their beloved kanelsnegle or cinnamon rolls.

The proposed ban followed plans by Denmark’s food safety agency to implement EU regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coumarin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical found in the most commonly used type of cinnamon, cassia.

A Regulatory Flurry: The Year in Regulation, 2013

From: American Action Forum

By Sam Batkins

This year regulators published $112 billion in net regulatory costs, including deregulatory measures. They added 157.9 million paperwork burden hours, according to the daily tally from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). At the beginning of 2013, the American Action Forum predicted $123 billion in regulatory costs, or 8 percent from the actual figure.

From 2009 to 2013, regulators have published $494 billion in final rules. This figure dwarfs the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from countries like Sweden, Peru, and Ireland. With more than $87.6 billion in proposed rule costs this year, burdens will continue to increase in 2014.

Leslie Taito, director of Chafee’s Office of Regulatory Reform

Editor’s Note:  Ms. Taito’s development of a retrospective regulatory review process demonstates that policy entrepreneurship in state governments is deserving of academic study.

From: Providence Journal

By Paul Grimaldi

PROVIDENCE — The staffer heading Governor Chafee’s regulatory overhaul effort said Friday she will leave her post next week to take “an exciting opportunity in private industry.”

Leslie Taito, who is director of Chafee’s Office of Regulatory Reform, said in a staff memo obtained by The Journal that her last day will be Jan. 9.

Regulatory Year in Review: 2013

From: RegBlog/Penn Program on Regulation

As the new year arrives, RegBlog would like to reflect on the many important regulatory developments that occurred in the United States and around the world during 2013.  We also want to recognize some of the excellent work we had the privilege to feature on RegBlog this past year.  Today through Wednesday, we will present the top 50 RegBlog posts of the past twelve months, based on the number of page views for the work appearing in each of our opinion, news, and analysis sections.

Moving Toward the Evaluation State

From: RegBlog/Penn Program on Regulation

In 2003, Cass Sunstein published a book called The Cost-Benefit State, and in it he argued that policymaking in the United States has transformed itself into one that emphasizes the use of economic analysis to inform government decisions before adopting new regulatory policies.  That book appeared a little more than two decades after President Reagan issued Executive Order 12,291, which established the White House review process that continues to exist in largely the same form today, calling upon federal agencies to use cost-benefit analysis to look carefully at significant regulations before they adopt them.

Better Coordination Could Reduce the Burden of Federal Regulations for Manufacturers

From: Industry Market Trends/Thomasnet


The number and complexity of federal regulations affecting manufacturers continue to grow, placing a heavy financial burden on the sector, according to a recent study by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). Manufacturing advocates say a more transparent and better-coordinated regulatory regime, along with increased cost-effectiveness, could significantly reduce the drag on productivity.

MAPI study states that the costs of federal regulations for the U.S. manufacturing sector have increased an average of 7.6 percent annually since 1998, while output in the sector has only grown 0.4 percent yearly during the same period. Since 1981, federal agencies have released 2,302 regulations that affect manufacturers, of which 270 have an individual economic effect of $100 million/yr or more.

Cataloging Washington’s Hidden Costs, Part 2: The Unmeasured Impacts of Economic Intervention

From: Enterprise Institute

by Wayne Crews

Back in Part 1 of Cataloging Washington’s Hidden Costs, the topic was the incalculable cost of the loss of liberty in an advanced mixed economy.

On the other hand, “mere” economic costs of regulations are supposed to be the easy part, the stuff we can really get a grip on. Turns out, most economic interference is unmeasured and probably unmeasurable too.

Let’s do a non-exhaustive rundown of some economic costs not included in my rough $1.8 trillion annual regulatory cost placeholder that I have so far.

Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation: Regulations Hinder U.S. Manufacturing

From: Industry Market Trends

Groups Weigh In on Assertion that Regulations Hinder U.S. Manufacturing


Federal regulations continue to pose a financial burden to manufacturing, according to a report published by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). Several trade and government groups offer their assessments of the situation.

The costs to manufacturing brought by federal regulations have increased an average of 7.6 percent annually since 1998, NERA Economic Consulting reported for MAPI. Since 1981, federal agencies have promulgated 2,302 regulations that affect manufacturers.

EPA’s Retrospective Review of Regulations: Will It Reduce Manufacturing Burdens?

Editor’s Note: The complete article from The Federalist Society’s Engage journal is available here.  The following is from the Introduction.

From:  Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society Practice Groups, Volume 14, Issue 2, July 2013

Sofie Miller, Policy Analyst, The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center


The Ozone Treaty That Banned Your Asthma Inhaler

From: Bloomberg

By Cass R. Sunstein

The Food and Drug Administration has outlawed the only over-the-counter asthma medicine in the U.S. It has also banned a number of other asthma medicines that patients like and that doctors have prescribed for them.

In imposing these prohibitions, the FDA hasn’t denied that the banned asthma medicines are safe and effective for their intended use. (Disclosure: While serving as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs during President Barack Obama’s first term, I participated in discussions of some issues examined here.)