International Health Regulation Statistics
GREEN: Countries ranking first or
RED: Countries ranking last or second to last in statistic
An essential reason for the United States' poor health status is their reluctance to regulate their chemical production with the precautionary principle.
|Precautionary principle and chemical policy|
|GMO labelling||Major GMO labelling exceptions||Neocotinoids||Altrazine||BPA ban||PCB||rBST||Methyl bromide use|
|Australia||Mandatory||Processed products||In review||Allowed||Absolute ban||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||19.6|
|Canada||Optional||No GMO policy||In review||Allowed||To review in 2020||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||7.3|
|Denmark||Mandatory||Meat, animal products||EU temporary ban||Banned||All baby food contact products||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||-1,614.8|
|France||Mandatory||Meat, animal products||EU temporary ban||Banned||All BPA food products||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||-1,614.8|
|Germany||Mandatory||Meat, animal products||Eu temporary ban||Banned||BPA bottles||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||-1,614.8|
|Italy||Mandatory||Meat, animal products||EU temporary ban||Banned||BPA bottles||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||-1,614.8|
|Japan||Mandatory||Processed products||In review||Absolute ban||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||93.8|
|Netherlands||Mandatory||Meat, animal products||EU temporary ban||Banned||BPA bottles||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||-1,614.8|
|Norway||Mandatory||Temporary ban||Absolute ban||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||0.0|
|Sweden||Mandatory||Meat, animal products||EU temporary ban||Banned||BPA bottles||Allowed in closed systems||Absolute ban||-1,614.8|
|United Kingdom||Mandatory||Meat, animal products||Disputing EU temporary ban||Banned||BPA bottles||Absolute ban||Absolute ban||2.2|
|United States||Optional||No GMO policy||In review||Allowed||All baby food contact products||Allowed in closed systems||Unrestricted, unlabelled||20.3|
Precautionary principle defined:
Concerning chemicals, the precautionary principle can be defined as policy making that assumes chemicals as hazardous until they're proven to be harmless. The policy assumes new chemicals and their potential risk to be too dangerous to introduce to the public.
Whether GMO products are required to be labelled. The European Union introduced the policy in 1997. The United States still have no such policy.
Neonicotinoids are widely held as the responsible agent for the mass bee deaths. Prominent local and international NGOs, farmers, and environmentalists are pursuing to have the chemical banned. Sources per country/country groups are as follows:
Altrazine, a widely used herbicide, has been implicated to contaminate groundwater by the European Union as well as to disrupt development in frogs.
BPA ban: Bisphenol A
Bisphenol A is a product commonly found in plastic materials and a common chemical formerly (for most advanced democracies) found on baby feeding bottles.
Canada: Environment Canada -One of thousands of chemicals on Canada's review list. Deadline for review of all chemicals on list is 2020.
France: Senat.fr -Translated from French in Google Chrome.
European Union and Denmark's modification: European Information Centre on Bisphenol A. -French modification from this source is outdated. For France, see above.
PCBs: Polychlorinated biphenyls
Extensively used syntheisized chemical from 1930s-80s; highly carcinogenic and cause reproductive toxicity, teratogenicity and immunotoxicity; as a persistent organic pollutant, has long shelf life and highly transferable; used in two types of systems:
For more, see European Union source, below.
United States: The History of PCBs: When Were Health Problems Detected? Toxic Substances Control Act bans PCBs except in closed systems. PCBs remain only chemical to be banned by U.S. Congress.
rBST: Bovine somatotropin
rBST is a hormone used to increase milk production from cows. Cow health risks include increased risk of clinical mastitis, 40% fertility reduction, and 55% increased risk of developing lameness. Human health risks are still debated since early tests indicated a link between the hormone with tumors, prostate, breast, colerectal cancers, and others.
Methyl bromide use
As a substance harmful to the ozone, the Montreal Protocol called for its gradual phase out in 1987. Here, methyl bromide use is "... the amount of controlled substances produced, minus the amount destroyed by technologies to be approved by the Parties and minus the amount entirely used as feedstock in the manufacture of other chemicals." This explains the negative values. For this indicator, the European reports as an entirety, not by individual countries. 93% of methyl bromide uses can now be supplemented by other resources. Still the United States persists on using it as a pesticde. See "The chemical that must not be named" below in notes. United States finally reduced their methyl bromide use dramatically from 1,633.4 in 2010 to 20.3 in 2012. Measured in ODP tonnes. For most recent year (2010-2012).
"The Regulation of GMOs in Europe and the United States: A Case-Study of Contemporary European Regulatory Politics," Diahanna Lynch and David Vogel, April 5, 2001.
"... [T]he US regulation of GMOs resembles the European regulatory style of the 1970s: regulators have worked cooperatively with industry and been supportive of technological innovation, while non-governmental organizations have enjoyed little access to the policy process."
Monsanto attempts to charge a private business owner (non-farmer) of sewing seeds outside of contract. Monsanto made such accusations unfairly. Article exposes the lengths to which Monsanto pursues such cases, the basic civil liberties violated, and the lack of accountability to which the legal system holds Monsanto. For more on Monsanto and its impact on international comparisons and the precautionary principle, visit our blog.
(Scroll down and click title for dropdown table.) Explores revolving door relation between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, among others and Monsanto by which FDA officials serve in top positions of the very prominent chemical corporations the governmental bodies are designed to regulate. Same could be said for the U.S.
"Margaret Miller is just one example. While working as a Monsanto researcher, she contributed to a scientific report for the FDA on Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. Shortly before the report was submitted, Miller left Monsanto to work at the FDA, where her first job was to review the same report! Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen. Needless to say, the FDA accepted Monsanto's findings, which became the basis for its approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone and its decision not to require labels on milk produced through the use of the artificial hormone. The FDA official who made the decision not to label Monsanto's milk was Michael Taylor, who had worked as a lawyer for Monsanto. Today, Michael Taylor is in the Obama Administration, in charge of food safety."
Book underscores reforms needed in U.S. in order to regulate environmental concerns with more efficacy. Emphasizes the need for the application of the precautionary principle as twenty new chemicals are created every week by U.S. chemical industries. As the Toxic Substance Control Act allows the industries to regulate themselves, many harmful chemicals do not receive the discretion they're due.
"Regardless of a country's decision to ban, or severely restrict the use of some, or all, persistent organic pesticides, there is hardly any country not facing the problem of disposal of some remaining stocks. ... The decision on whether a chemical should be banned, or its use restricted, should be based on its proven harmful effect on humans, non-target organisms and the integrity of the environment, and not solely on its persistence in the human body or in the environment." POPs often cause harm decades later and far from where they were originally used. See PCBs.
The plastic bag example is another simple way health regulations could have a positive impact on the environment.
Countries urge the hastening of the phasing out of methyl bromide, yet U.S., Japan, and others persist on using it as a pesticide.
Connects the link between child advertising and child obesity in reviewing the market for and reasons behind the ethical controversy. See also Child Welfare 1.
"Study: Countries that Use More High Frutcose Corn Syrup Have More Diabetes," Lindsay Abrams, Novermber 27, 2012
In addition to the risks of consuming sugar, in general, and the adverse impacts on BMI, HFCS consumption is linked to type two diabetes.