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The Politics of PrecautionRegulating Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States$
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David Vogel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691124162

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691124162.001.0001

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Consumer Safety

Consumer Safety

(p.189) Chapter Six Consumer Safety
The Politics of Precaution

David Vogel

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes European and American policies toward a range of consumer safety risks; including drugs, children's products, and cosmetics. It shows how European and American risk regulations have converged, though the dynamics through which this occurred differed substantially. Pharmaceutical regulation constitutes the most important exception to the broader pattern of increased transatlantic regulatory policy divergence. What makes this area of regulatory policy distinctive is that its political salience increased in the United States but not in Europe. Pharmaceutical regulation also represents an important exception to the dominant pattern of transatlantic regulatory policy diffusion. In this case, European regulatory policies did affect those of the United States, first by highlighting the transatlantic drug lag, and more recently by American decisions to adopt some European practices to expedite drug approvals.

Keywords:   consumer safety, drugs, cosmetics, risk regulations, pharmaceutical regulation, political salience, drug lag, safety risks

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