Citizens for Sensible Safeguards recently issued a statement of principles urging the Bush administration to step up efforts to protect the public from highway, workplace, environmental and food-borne hazards.

Every year, more than 40,000 people die on U.S. highways, according to the advocacy group. Food-borne illnesses kill an estimated 7,000 people and sicken 76 million. Nearly 6,000 workers die as a result of injury on the job, with an additional 50,000 to 60,000 killed by occupational disease, according to the group. More than 30,000 lives are cut short by air pollution every year, and another 1.8 million get sick from swimming in sewage.

The coalition is comprised of more than 40 organizations, including the AFL-CIO; the Freedom of Information Center, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Friends of the Earth; National Consumers League; and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The group issued four principles:

  • Strong protections are needed for public health, safety, civil rights and the environment — and these protections must be vigorously enforced.
  • Enforcement must be backed by sufficient funding and staffing.
  • Scientific advice that informs regulatory decisions must be free of conflicts of interests.
  • Government decision-making should be transparent and open to scrutiny, allowing for public accountability.