Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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07 June 2010

Hewitt: EPA Anti-Microbial Claim Fines and Jobs

Hugh Hewitt, a columnist of the Washington Examiner, pointed at the job-killing effect of the Obama administration's EPA in yet another arena.  It is using the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act of 7 decades ago to fine companies making anti-microbial claims for their products which they did not test and did not submit to the EPA as registered anti-microbial products.  The EPA was miffed and fined North Face, Califone, Saniguard, and another company $500,000, despite the fact that their products used an EPA registered anti-microbial silver compound.  Perhaps these companies thought that incorporation of an EPA registered anti-microbial compound meant that further testing and registration of the product was not necessary.  Perhaps this is another complex law being used in new ways much as the Clean Air Act is being used to designate carbon dioxide as a pollutant or whose use to require anti-microbial testing and product registration was last enforced so long ago that normal people, especially those harassed by the requirements of earning a living amidst a largely government-induced recession, have forgotten this requirement.

Hewitt notes:
Whatever the merits of the manufacturers' claims, it is difficult to see a significant threat to public health or safety in the advertising that brought down the wrath of the EPA on these companies.
It is easy, on the other hand, to see the cost of the fines, and the almost certain additional significant costs for lawyers and other staff who had to deal with the problem. It is easy to imagine the cost of new marketing materials and of increased regulatory compliance.
And it doesn't take long to conclude that such damages to a company's bottom line mean jobs lost because of those increased costs.
Now, is it possible that the registered anti-microbial compound is incorporated into the products which brought about the fines in such a way that they are relatively ineffective?  Sure, it is possible.  But one wonders if the EPA even warned these companies to stop their advertising claims prior to slapping them with job-killing fines.  That would seem to be common courtesy given that such private sector companies are the hosts generating the income streams upon which the largely parasitical EPA is living.

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