AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Does it make sense to have District environmental laws on the books, if they cannot be enforced? The controversial Delaney Clause, for example, regarded as one of the strictest environmental standards, bans in processed food any trace of weed-killers or other pesticides that could induce cancer in animals at any dosage; so strict is the clause, passed into law in 1958, that it has been largely ignored. Then a federal appeals panel in fall 1992 directed Environmental Protection Agency to enforce it, even if doing so could imperil the nation's food supply. "If there is to be a change," the court said, "it is for Congress to direct."
Acting in advance of Congress, the Clinton administration, which stepped into power shortly after the Delaney ruling, recently issued a proposal to replace the Delaney Clause with a general pesticide reform package. Among other measures, the pesticide reduction plan would set a strict health-based "negligible risk" standard, addressing all sources of human exposure to chemicals, not just food, and covering all health risks, not just cancer. However, by pre-empting the Delaney Clause, which has been fiercely fought by the agricultural chemicals lobby for decades, the administration strips environmental lawyers of a newly powerful legal weapon.
Should environmetalists accept the administration …