Date of Award
Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, M.P.A.
Political Science Department
The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) is supposed to make the rulemaking process at the administrative level democratic. This study will look at two examples of federal regulatory agencies – Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The topics are food labeling, and net neutrality respectively. The APA highlights the process of notice and comment rulemaking. The APA is evaluated in the literature review for effectiveness and shortcomings. Interest groups play a key role in the policy making process; interest groups inform and mobilize citizens, and then coordinate commenting on agency rule propositions. This can sometimes lead to what is called astroturfing, or large amounts of identical posts. Most of the general public are not aware of notice and comment rulemaking. Public participation and access to information, especially through the internet is very important in a modern democracy. This is what makes the net neutrality so important. Also, obesity and diseases like diabetes are on the rise in America. This is a serious concern, and having updated food labels is a great way to make sure people know what is in their food to make healthy choices. The comments were added up to see how many were for and against the two mentioned laws. The results for FCC show that most comments came from interest groups, most were opposed to repealing net neutrality, however, it was repealed. The results for the FDA were most of the comments came from either health professionals or consumers, and most people felt the FDA was not doing enough but still largely supported most of the revisions. The FDA made the decision to extend the compliance deadline for updated nutrition facts labels.
Shannon, Casey, "Informal Rulemaking and Democratic Participation FDA – Food Labeling, FCC – Net Neutrality, a Text Mining Study" (2018). Public Administration Master’s Projects. 26.
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