Regulatory Watchdogs

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Greenpeace International
Public Citizen
Sierra Club

Center for Auto Safety
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Clean Air Trust
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Environmental Defense
ETC Group
FM Watch
Friends of the Earth
PR Watch
State Public Interest Research Groups
U.S. Public Interest Research Groups


When Reporters Cease to be Watchdogs
Newspapers are among America's most important watchdogs and this column has long championed the print media in carrying out their duties. It is because of the importance of newspapers as watchdogs that a recent USA Today article on a pesticide study by NRDC was so disappointing.

The article states that EPA "used a regulatory loophole to approve 65% of 16,000 pesticides that pose a potential threat to public health...." Don't however expect any discussion of the supposed loophole. Also, don't look for any independent analysis of NRDC's claims about EPA's pesticide registration process. Instead, the USAToday article reads like an NRDC press release. The article even places in the sub-headline NRDC's claims regarding EPA's purported use of a "loophole" to allow pesticides on the market.

EPA's statement that they haven't reviewed the study and that the agency "confirms that products initially registered on a conditional basis are not posing unacceptable risks to human health or the environment" is buried in the middle of the article and is not discussed.

The news article contains no comments from pesticide manufacturers, academicians, think tanks or anyone else who might question NRDC's conclusions or offer a different perspective on EPA's regulatory processes.

Technological changes beyond industry control are hammering the print news industry, threatening its viability. It is possible for print media companies to survive but to do so, they will need to do more than act as publicity arms of interest groups.

See USA Today

CRE Homepage