The revolving door between government regulatory agencies and the industries they regulate has long been a public policy concern. On the one hand industry groups argue that it is important that regulatory agencies have access to the expertise people obtain while they work in the industry they regulate. On the other hand, public advocacy groups express concern that such a cozy relationship between the two are likely to result in agencies giving undue deference to the desires of the industry they regulate.

All one has to do is to look at the agencies regulating Wall Street and the financial sector, the Minerals Management Agency, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration to see why the public is concerned that those working for the agencies are either coming from industry to do their bidding or looking for the opportunity to land a good industry job after they leave their regulatory or inspection agency.

One of the concerns dealt with in the report of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), “Driving the Fox from the Henhouse,” is the issue of the revolving door between the agencies that regulate food safety and the industries they regulate.