Poisoning for Profit: Regulatory Rollbacks, Public Health, and State-Facilitated Corporate Crime


A core policy goal of the Trump administration has been rolling back or weakening regulations designed to protect workers, consumers, the environment, and general public health from known corporate harms. In a  new report in the Journal of White Collar and Corporate Crime, Raymond Michalowski and  Meredith Brown at Northern Arizona University argue that these rollbacks constitute the most far-reaching effort to free corporate capital from regulatory restraint since the onset of corporate regulation at the dawn of the 20th century.

They propose that blending state–corporate crime and public health frameworks can help to better understand and analyze the short- and long-term impacts of the current rollback regime. They also propose that the regulatory rollbacks currently underway create conditions for an increase in state-facilitated corporate crimes that will result in excess deaths, avoidable illnesses and injuries, and a degradation of public health. The report gives specific examples of deregulatory acts regarding water, air, labor, and food. They conclude with a call for a public health criminology and an openly democratic, evidence-based, and discrimination-free system for minimizing the harms of corporate profit-seeking.