Monday’s Fresh Air with Terri Gross episode featured an investigative reporter, Mark Schapiro, who took a look at why the European Union’s standards for toxic chemicals in foods, toys, and cosmetics are so different from the United States.
One thing he mentioned was government funded health care. If the government pays for everyone’s health care, they’ll apt to look for ways to improve the health of their citizens in order to save money on health care costs.
Shapiro also explained that the EU is now a larger and more influential market than the United States with 500,000,000 people vs America’s ~300 million. He said that the EU has banned the import of toys, baby products, and cosmetics containing chemicals considered harmful, which leads to the dumping of second-rate products in non-EU markets like the United States.
So, how does the EU determine what’s harmful? In part, based on research conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. We do the research, but the EU actually legislates to protect their citizens based on our research.
Interesting stuff. I’d encourage you to find time to listen to the show.