Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Peanut Madness

The article discussing the owner of the peanut company shipping salmonella tainted peanut products brings up an interesting policy dilemma for people to consider:

Do we, as the Director of the testing center suggests, need to increase oversight by the FDA for what he admits is an event that is "unheard of"? At what cost? What is the benefit of such additional oversight relative to the cost? Be careful...if we consider the value (benefit) of a human life saved as "infinite," does this not imply we are willing to expend an infinite amount of money to protect it...

Before I get blasted...the behavior of this executive is morally reprehensible if what is reported is true. He should be placed in jail forthwith. But knee-jerk reactions as those proposed by the testing center Director most often lead to bad policy. In fact, if you read the Wall Street Journal version of the story, which strongly suggests that it is not regulation that is lacking, but lack of regulatory attention span. As with mortgages, banking, and other issues of late, the regulators were asleep at the wheel and unwilling to enforce regulations on the books...


Another story shows the depths of the stupidity of this company.