Environment: Of Mice and Men: Alarm over Plastics

The consumer-oriented federal agencies that have been born in the past four years have quickly learned how to show their muscle. Instead of allowing scientists employed by industry to continue setting their own safety standards, federal scientists are rechecking those standards—and frequently disagreeing with them. Last week two different agencies acted on different fronts to limit threats to human health. In each case the reason was the same: man-made chemicals in wide usage were implicated in causing cancer. If the new rulings stand up to court tests, they promise to have important consequences for the national economy.

The Environmental Protection Agency forbade...

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