At moments when science regulators perceive a crisis that requires market intervention, they must craft arguments to overcome the burdens of proof placed upon them by both their authorizing statutes and scientific standards of knowledge formation. These "presumptive breaches" lend themselves to rhetorical analysis. This essay offers the eight year bid by the Food and Drug Administration to regulate ephedra dietary supplements as a case study to explicate the role rhetoric plays in proposing and reviewing science regulation.

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