So, a mere 50 years after the development of the technology, the FDA has graciously allowed us all to purchase produce irradiated to kill pathogens. Hooray!
Too bad so many people had to die needlessly in the last 50 years, and in the last two years in particular.
The long saga of irradiation fits the mold of a more general phenomenon: The willingness of many leftists to tolerate very real, actual deaths today in exchange for the hypothetical risk of deaths tomorrow.
The strangling off of drug approvals follows this same pattern. People are dying and suffering right now but we view new drugs as greater threats than benefits. We do this not only with minor medications to treat hair loss or fingernail fungus but also with drugs intended to treat otherwise-untreatable fatal illnesses. John Stossel once conveyed the import of delaying new drugs by noting that when you see a story about a new drug that says the drug will save, say 14,000, lives year, that means that for every year that regulators kept the drug off the market 14,000 people died.
We’ve created incentives such that the FDA gets no credit for the lives saved by the drugs it approves, but only blame for the much smaller number of people who die from unexpected side effects. The specter of hypothetical deaths looms so large in our minds that every day we let people die in the here and now.
You see the same reasoning applied to global warming and nuclear power. GW advocates state emphatically that no reasonable doubt exists that catastrophic global warming is occurring. They reel out grim statistics in which hundreds of millions of people are sure to die unless we act. Yet they shut down nuclear energy, the one proven technology that could put an end to global warming right now, without a doubt, because they fear the hypothetical chance of an accident. Even though we’ve been dealing with millions of tons of nuclear materials for nearly 70 years without an accident that would rank with a refinery fire, they would still rather condemn millions to death rather than face the merest chance of an accident. Worse, even the worst nuclear accident imaginable wouldn’t come close to doing as much harm as catastrophic global warming.
Too many of our decisions are held hostage by people who make their living selling hypothetical fear. They pursue their own personal interest at the expense of the lives of others, in a way that would shame the worst corporate criminal. These hypocrites need to be put down and put down hard.