The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Issues in the News



The New York Times questions whether it is safe for women to eat fish during pregnancy, citing concerns over possible mercury contamination.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of Food Safety Policy Gregory Conko on what recent scientific studies have shown us: 

“According to that study, the benefits to both newborn children and to adults of eating fish vastly outweigh any theoretical impacts on health that may result from extant levels of methylmercury. And, Walter Willett, professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, told the Washington Post in August of last year that the benefits of eating seafood “are likely to be at least 100-fold greater than the estimates of harm, which may not exist at all.”



A new recycling method for cell phones and computer parts could drastically reduce the potential for pollution from discarded electronic equipment.

CEI Experts Available to Comment: Adjunct Analyst Dana Gattuso on why the solutions for dealing with “e-waste” lie in private initiative rather than government mandates:

“Th[e] rush to enact some form of costly recycling legislation is the result of a swirl of misinformation spread largely by powerful eco-activist groups—motivated by the belief that the growing amount of electronic waste reflects the ills of a “throw-away” society and that recycling e-waste to achieve “zero waste tolerance” is a moral obligation. Among the myths bandied about are that e-waste is growing at an uncontrollable, “exponential” rate; that, in the words of Sen. Wyden, “growing amounts of e-waste are clogging our nation’s landfills;” and that heavy metals contained in computers are leaking out of the landfills, poisoning our the soil.”



Union officials complain of a lack of action on improving mine safety.

CEI Experts Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Iain Murray on the problems with the government response to mine safety issues. :

“To hear Senators Byrd and Rockefeller speak, one would think that the coal mining industry in this country is one of the major sources of death in the US. They might be surprised to hear that, while 28 miners died in accidents on the job in 2004, so did 27 top executives. The recent small cluster of mining deaths in two incidents has led to a legislative reaction out of all proportion to the scale of the problem. Mining is already about as safe as such an inherently dangerous activity can be.”