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Precaution Can Kill
Chemical Benefits and Regulatory Risk
Friday, May 15, 2020

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

Especially in a pandemic.

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? How many other important products have never even reached the market due to heavy restrictions of the medical and chemical industries?

In this event, Independent Institute Executive Director Graham Walker and Independent Research Fellow Dr. Ryan M. Yonk—co-author of the powerful new Independent Briefing, Precaution Can Kill: Chemical Benefits and Regulatory Risks (with Diana W. Thomas and Kevin D. Gomez)—discuss the problems with the “precautionary principle” and a much-needed airing of market-based, efficient alternatives for the industries that use chemicals, medical or otherwise, and for the consumers who benefit from readily available, affordable, safe and healthy products.

Graham H. Walker
Graham H. Walker is Executive Director and Assistant Editor for The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy at the Independent Institute. He received his Ph.D. in public law and government from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Walker has served as Associate Professor of Politics at Catholic University of America, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Visiting Scholar in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), Senior Research Scholar at the Witherspoon Institute, Headmaster at Oaks Christian School, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, President at Patrick Henry College, Legislative Aide to former Congressman David Stockman, and Fellow at the Presidio Institute.
Ryan M. Yonk
Ryan M. Yonk is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, and Program Director for the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise and Lecturer of Economics in the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Georgia State University, and he was formerly Assistant Research Professor of Economics and Finance at Utah State University and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Utah University. His books include Nature Unbound: Bureaucracy vs. the Environment (with Randy Simmons and Kenneth Sim), Petitioners as a Reflection of Society? A Study of Typology and Policy (with S. Reilly), and Green Vs. Green: Conflicts in Environmental Priorities (with Randy Simmons and Brian Steed).

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