Environmentalists haven’t had much love for the Food and Drug Administration or Environmental Protection Agency — two main government agencies charged with protecting our environment and health — the last eight years. How could we, when science so often got trumped by political maneuvering?
But with Obama’s election, environmentalists have a new hope for scientific integrity in the White House — so much so that the respected nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists has put together “10 New Year’s Resolutions for a New Administration” (PDF) to help out Obama’s team.
Many items in this list of resolutions are directly concerned with public health and safety, which have often been compromised in the last eight years due to everything from relaxed pollution laws to lead-laced children’s toys. The Union of Concerned Scientists are calling for the Obama administration to “defend Americans from unsafe drugs, toys and other products” and to “safeguard our health by putting the EPA back in charge of evaluating the potential dangers of chemicals.” Here’s the full list of resolutions:
1. Defend Americans from unsafe drugs, toys, and other products by requiring that federal agency leaders protect employees who blow the whistle when science is misused.
2. Allow the public access to tremendous scientific resources by letting government scientists tell us what they know.
3. Protect the air we breathe by obeying the law and setting air pollution standards based on science.
4. Restore our faith in government by providing more information to the public about how science-based policy decisions are made.
5. Use science to conserve our natural heritage for future generations.
6. Collect enough information to give us flexibility to meet future challenges and keep tabs on current problems.
7. Hold your administration accountable to high scientific integrity standards.
8. Keep politics out of science by reining in the power of the White House to tamper with purely scientific analyses.
9. Safeguard our health by putting the Environmental Protection Agency back in charge of evaluating the potential dangers of chemicals without interference from other agencies.
10. Protect us by shining a bright light on all agency meetings held with special interests so we can understand their influence.
Get more details about these resolutions on the UCS’ website. And here’s hoping for healthier, safer times in the next four years, all kicked off by Al Gore’s “green ball” to inaugurate Obama!