Making Cancer Policy

By Mark E. Rushefsky

Series: SUNY series in Public Administration
Paperback : 9780887064074, 257 pages, October 1986
Hardcover : 9780887064067, 257 pages, November 1986

Table of contents


Introduction, by Nicholas A. Ashford

1. Science, Uncertainty, and Politics


The Problem of Imperfect Knowledge
Scientific Controversies
Mixing Science and Politics
The Political Uses of Science


2. Science and Regulatory Science


Normal Science and Regulatory Science
Elements of Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment Policy
Evaluating the Guidelines
A Final Assessment


3. Origins of Cancer Policy


Agenda Building and Policy Formulation
Political Perspective: The Clash of Estates
Birth of the Modern Environmental Movement
Environmental Legislation
The War on Cancer
History of Cancer Research
EPA 1976 Interim Guidelines
National Cancer Advisory Board


4. Maturation of Cancer Policy


Regulatory Reform
The Drive Toward a Coherent, Governmentwide Cancer Policy
OSHA's Cancer Regulations
Interagency Regulatory Liaison Group
Offices of Science and Technology Policy
Toxics in Air and Water
Toxic Substances Strategy Committee
Other Efforts During the Carter Administration


5. The Reagan Administration: Challenge and Change


Scientific Challenge
Change of Administrations
Administrative Strategy
Cancer Policy in the Reagan Administration: Early Period


6. Critique, Scandal and Consensus


Critique and Scandal
Return to Consensus
Establishing the Consensus
Ruckelshaus Initiatives
Interdisciplinary Panel


7. The Challenge to Cancer Policy


Is There a Cancer Problem?
The Apocalyptics
Conclusion: Justifying Risk Assessment


8. Mixing Truth with Power


Case Study: Diet and Cancer
Separating Science and Policy
Comingling and Concurrent Development
Final Observations and Recommendations


Appendix A: Risk Assessment Principles

Appendix B: Inference Choices

Appendix C: Chronology

Appendix D: Acronyms





Mark Rushefsky confronts head-on the controversies surrounding federal cancer policy, within the context, however, of a balanced view of the politics and science involved.

From 1976 to 1984, federal agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidelines regulating public exposure to chemical carcinogens. These policies have engendered controversy and undergone numerous changes. Some of these are based on new scientific developments, others on new political developments. Making Cancer Policy analyzes the guidelines issued by these agencies in terms of their scientific and political environment. It addresses the issues of uncertainty in the scientific foundation of cancer policy, scientific controversies, the mixing of science and politics, and the political uses of science. This book shows just how "political" science can be.

Mark E. Rushefsky is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Philosophy at Southwest Missouri State University.