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E-M:/ Preemption blues

Enviro-Mich message from jmgear <jmgear@acd.net>

_http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/05/opinion/05mendelson.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print_ <http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/05/opinion/05mendelson.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print>

July 5, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor
*Bullies Along the Potomac *
Ann Arbor, Mich.

WITH conservatives controlling the White House and Congress, one might expect states' rights to be firmly in vogue. But several recent federal actions have seriously weakened the states' efforts to protect health and the environment.

In March, for example, the House of Representatives passed, and the Senate is considering, the benign-sounding "National Uniformity for Food Act," which would bar states from addressing food-borne hazards, leaving food safety solely to the Food and Drug Administration. Thirty-nine state attorneys general signed a letter opposing the act. . . .

This act is no anomaly. A report last month from Representative Henry Waxman, Democrat of California, shows that since 2001 Congress has enacted 27 laws that pre-empt state authority in areas from air pollution to consumer protection. . . .

Nina Mendelson, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, is a scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform.

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