Regulatory Capture Breaks Tech Here’s How

An example of tings that are incredibly upsetting, but only surprising because of how normal they have became.

How tech does regulatory capture

My “favorite” example of horrible regulatory capture is from 2019, when Dow Chemical – working through the West Virginia Manufacturers Association – convinced the state of West Virginia to relax the limits on how much toxic runoff from chemical processing could be present in the state’s drinking water. Dow argued that the national safe levels reflected a different kind of person from the typical West Virginian. Specifically, Dow argued, the people of West Virginia were much fatter than other Americans, so their bodies could absorb more poison without sickening. And besides, Dow concluded, West Virginians drink beer, not water, so poisoning their drinking water wouldn’t affect them:
Cory Doctorow, April 18, 2023,
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