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Posted on Sun, Feb 19, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

We don't need more hurdles to jump over to enact safety rules

By Letters to the Editor

A couple of one-liners about regulatory laws in Michigan and the United States earned some giggles for our comedians-in-chief during both the State of the State and the State of the Union addresses, with Gov. Snyder fixating on toilet seats, and President Obama reaching for a pun about spilled milk.

Out of context, regulations like these can certainly seem humorous. But the ability of government agencies to create health and safety regulations is a deadly serious matter. Right now, a number of bills designed to create hurdles in the process of making new safety rules are heading to the U.S. Senate.

Agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (and their counterparts in Michigan) have helped ease the minds of parents and consumers in an untold number of ways, from ensuring that cribs will not collapse on infants to reducing the amount of toxic mercury emitted from power plants.

Adding layers of new bureaucratic processes on top of simple public health rules is nothing to laugh about.

Meghan Hess
Ann Arbor

Editor’s note: Meghan Hess is a program associate with Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM).



Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 12:16 a.m.

This is written by an associate with PIRGIM? Of course her article is going to be biased...and wrong. Simply put, the U.S. and state governments need to do a much better job of enforcing existing regulatory laws (the USDA and FDA immediately comes to mind) before they even consider passing new regulatory measures that they won't be able to properly enforce.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:24 a.m.

The USDA and FDA could properly enforce regulations if their budgets were what they should be AND if they were charged with only regulating. Most would not know the the USDA is also required to market and promote US agricultural products. Do you see a conflict? Most intelligent people would. It is asking the same agency to regulate what they are trying to sell. It is the same with the FAA and most other agencies that most think of as regulatory agencies. By the way, this is an example of the government picking an industry to support. I wonder how many of the republicans will be stopping this funding as well as getting rid of the tax breaks for the mortgage and housing industry, the health care industry and the child birth industry.

John of Saline

Sun, Feb 19, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Not all rules enhance safety, Ms. Hess. That's the point here.


Sun, Feb 19, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

I f snyder is at least concerned about toilet seats, he's way ahead of the rest of the laissez -faire, 'let them breath pollutants, swim in oil slicks ..and not be insured" teaparty clownshow ( Romney either pretending to play along or maybe actually "bent" in that direction , after all his sycophantic pandering to that "base"). At least Perry is gone ( although he publically forgot which regulatory agencies he was gonna abolish!!).


Sun, Feb 19, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

If there was a single agency making all the safety rules AND they made sure they did not conflict, then I would have fewer problems. Right now in one state, the state rules on air masks disagree with the federal rules. Technically there is no breathing apparatus that is legal to wear to do the work. This is just one of many examples of conflicts that I have to deal with on a regular basis. After more than two years, the state agency has again refused to change their rule to match the Federal one, their latest comment? "Well then just don't do that maintenance".

Hot Sam

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

JohnnyA2 could not be more wrong...the constitution clearly states the role of the federal government, and it is they that are responsible for the unnecessary duplicity...


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:15 a.m.

Blame that on the right wingers who believe that states should have that role and not the federal government. I think if we are actually the UNITED states, there should be some common regulations throughout the country.

Dog Guy

Sun, Feb 19, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

For the petty tyrants who make laws by regulation, everything is either forbidden or mandatory. So, Meghan Hess, At what time on which days may I wipe and how many sheets of Charmin may I use? Oops! papermaking pollutes, so I must use my bare fingers.