33 Food Drug Cosm. L.J. 541 (1978)
Public Policy Issues in Regulating Carcinogens in Food

handle is hein.journals/foodlj33 and id is 567 raw text is: Public Policy Issues in Regulating
Carcinogens -in Food
This paper was Presented by Mr. Hutt as the Keynote Address to
the Conference on the Scientific Basis for Interpretation of the
Delaney Clause, sponsored by the International Academy of En-
vironmental Safety, Washington, D. C., February 6, 1978.
N O STATUTORY PROVISION has been the subject of greater
discussion, or less understanding, than the Delaney Clause. On
one side, scientists have attacked it as a misstatement of scientific fact
and indeed as a denial of the most fundamental principles of toxicology
and biology. On the other side, consumer advocates have defended it
as the last hope for the survival of mankind, without which we would
all be poisoned by food laced with potent carcinogens. Neither side to
this ,controversy has bothered to stop and analyze the matter in detail.
At times, it has seemed that the battle was an end in itself, and that
the combatants were participating more for the enjoyment of the con-
frontation than for the purpose of determining rational public policy.
For the past 15 years, I have steadfastly adhered to the view that
the Delaney Clause is a trivial statutory provision that is not worthy
of serious pulblic discussion. It adds nothing whatever to general safety
provisions that have existed in the law for over 70 years. I have de-
clined to participate in the great public debate about the Delaney
Clause, because I thought, and indeed continue to think, that it is an
utter waste of time and effort.
In the past year, however, I have become increasingly concerned
that this debate is not only pointless, but indeed harmful. By focusing
on -exactly the wrong questions, scientists on 'both sides of this con-
troversy have succeeded in obscuring the real public policy issues that
must be resolved in determining food safety policy for the future.

PAGE 541


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