Melanie Benesh
Legislative Attorney
Washington, D.C.

Areas of Expertise

  • Chemicals
  • Cosmetics
  • EPA
  • FDA
  • PFAS

Press Contact

To schedule an interview with Melanie Benesh, contact:


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
  • B.A., Political Science and Government, Marquette University


Melanie Benesh provides legislative and regulatory analysis of federal food, cosmetics, farm and chemical law. At Georgetown University Law Center, she was a Cutler Salzburg Fellow and served on the Georgetown Journal of International Law. After college, Benesh worked as a research assistant studying fair trade coffee in Chiapas, Mexico, and later as a community organizer for Voces de la Frontera in Milwaukee. She currently co-teaches a course on public interest advocacy as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.


In the News

"Asbestos is a carcinogen regardless of whether it's in building material that was installed 40 years ago or whether it's in a newly manufactured product. Cancer doesn't distinguish between these two uses so when EPA is evaluating asbestos we think they should take a comprehensive look."
- Melanie Benesh
August 8, 2018
“The administration should be extending the ban to commercial uses and is catering to the wishes of the chemical industry."
- Melanie Benesh
March 15, 2019
“The Trump administration will be partly to blame when the next worker is injured or dies as a result of being exposed to this extremely dangerous chemical. The EPA was catering to the wishes of the chemical industry.”
- Melanie Benesh
March 15, 2019
"We are really trying to get the full scope of the problem, and it seems like the Pentagon has that data. The results also would be of interest to ordinary people and communities that are worried about water contamination but may not have lawyers able to wrangle with the Pentagon and certainly don't have the money to pay for this kind of information.”
- Melanie Benesh
March 20, 2019
“If EPA is serious about protecting Americans from asbestos exposure, EPA should quickly release its full risk assessment under [the Toxic Substances Control Act] and issue a total ban on all uses of asbestos. That is the only way to ensure this deadly carcinogen can never be allowed on the market again.”
- Melanie Benesh
April 18, 2019
“This new rule makes it more difficult for industry to resume some abandoned uses of asbestos, but that is a half step at best. An outright ban is the only way the public can trust industry will never again be able to use this dangerous material that has literally killed tens of thousands of Americans.”
- Melanie Benesh
April 17, 2019
“It’s unclear whether the FDA could have done anything to prevent her poisoning. While the FDA has been able to intercept some high-mercury imports and turn them away, the agency lacks the authority to require companies to register their products and ingredients with the agency. That would make it easier to screen shipments that have a higher risk of being poisonous.”
- Melanie Benesh
October 1, 2019
“DoD action is long overdue. And the kind of action that we want to see, we want to see cleanup happening aggressively and quickly because these communities deserve better.”
- Melanie Benesh
August 8, 2019

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