President Trump quite literally cut a stretch of red tape last week to emphasize his slash-and-burn stance on government deregulation. But what would sweeping regulatory change mean for public health? And could changes by his administration wind up creating even more red tape?

A new analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that stifling an agency’s rulemaking ability “could have potentially disastrous consequences” for the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies that protect public health. Proponents of deregulation, however, say that the current regulatory system hampers economic growth and puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage with foreign competitors.

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