Precaution Can Kill

  • May 15, 2020
  • 03:00 Pacific Time (US & Canada)



Join Us for a Live Discussion—and Learn Why Chemical ‘Safety’ Is Often Bad for Your Health!

When the nation needs innovation and rapid response, the “precautionary principle”— the over-regulation or even the banning of substances due to (often unreasonable) fear of hazard—can cost many lives.

Especially in a pandemic.

For example, on March 29 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally gave emergency approval for two anti-malaria drugs to treat COVID-19. The drugs—hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine—have been used for decades and have saved millions of lives.

When reports came out that these drugs had been effective in COVID-19 patients, pharmaceutical companies quickly jumped into action. Bayer and Teva donated several million doses. 

Yet the FDA did not act for another 10 days. Why the delay? The World Health Organization and other entities had warned against “untested treatments.” 

Governments deploy the precautionary principle with the best of intentions—always the best. But almost invariably such bureaucratic risk-aversion hurts people. It can even kill them.

How many have died, for instance, because they could not use anti-malarial drugs to treat COVID-19?  How many became infected due to the FDA’s overly-cautious response to the sterilizing of face masks?

Join Dr. Ryan Yonk—one of the authors of a startling new policy briefing to be published this Friday by the Independent Institute: Precaution Can Kill: Chemical Benefits and Regulatory Risks—for a hard-hitting discussion of the problems with the precautionary principle and a much-needed airing of free-market, efficient alternatives for the industries that use chemicals, medical or otherwise.

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