8. Independent Citizen Health and Safety Agency

There are critical and long overdue needs for the establishment of an Independent Citizen Safety Agency. This Agency should be given wide powers to police the effectiveness of current health and safety regulations, and to act as intermediary between consumers, workers and their NGO's on the one hand and regulatory authorities and industry on the other. The Agency should be empowered with responsibilities including the following: the establishment of a clearinghouse for receiving and evaluating complaints from individual consumers, workers and their interest groups on all health related issues; collecting, systematising and evaluating new scientific data and assessing their implications for current and proposed new regulations; publication and dissemination of information, in explicit and simple language on possible health and environmental risks from regulated products and processes and also from the proposed authorisation of new products and processes.

The agency should be fully independent and responsible only to Parliament. It should be established on the models of antitrust and cartel agencies with wide powers of investigation, decision making and fining of violators. The Agency should be a public watchdog, an ombudsman with teeth, directly accountable only to Congress or Parliament.