Friday, May 8, 2015

Just Trust Us


The Times today provides an update of the ongoing Blue Bell listeria scandal. The toll so far; 10 cases, 3 deaths,. The FDA reports that 1) Blue Bell knew of listeria infection as far back as 2013, 2) did not adequately assess (indeed did not assess at all) the effectiveness  of its cleaning procedures, 3) more or less consistently denied that listeria, a bug that loves cold and damp and is notoriously difficult to eradicate was a problem at all.

Now I imagine you may reply that the whole affair proves the the incompetence of the FDA for its failure to intervene sooner.  Of course the relentless downward pressure on the FDA's budget might have something to do with that. You might also argue that this unhappy episode is a good example of the power of the market to regulate itself, as Blue Bell has paid a heavy price for its incompetence, with the complete shutdown of its operations indefinitely. To which I would not be able to avoid the snarky reply; "tell that to the families of the dead


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