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[greenyes] Different Attitudes to Regulation in US v. EU


WALL STREET JOURNAL
Worlds Apart on Consumer Safety

As EU Makes It Easier
To Ban Faulty Products,
Red Tape Reigns in U.S.
By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
September 15, 2004; Page A19

BRUSSELS -- Lighting up just got safer in Europe. But don't count on the
U.S. to follow suit.

In April -- just three months after a new consumer-safety directive took
effect here -- the European Union banned cheap Chinese cigarette lighters
that Canadian and Mexican regulators already had deemed dangerous.
Meanwhile, U.S. lighter makers' efforts to get the gadgets barred from the
American market have gone nowhere despite three years of government safety
testing.

The lighters saga highlights a widening divide between U.S. and European
approaches to consumer-product safety regulation -- even when it is
businesses rather than consumers pushing for safety rules. U.S. and European
officials have talked about harmonizing their policing of consumer safety as
globalization carries products far and wide, but in many ways they are going
in opposite directions. As Europe increasingly gives regulators more clout
and flexibility, their American counterparts remain hamstrung by a
bureaucratic thicket that prolongs efforts to remedy all but the most
egregious product defects.

"...

_________________________
Peter Anderson, President
RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address
web: www.recycleworlds.net

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