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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 1, 2005 / 23 Iyar, 5765

By protecting us from bad things, government protects us from good things, too

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's natural to fear freedom. Tell most Americans that we'd be better off if we clear-cut the regulatory jungle and simply let the market decide what products are sold, and you're likely to be told how dangerous the world would be. Most people think government keeps us safe. It's why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is regarded as absolutely necessary. It protects us from snake-oil sellers. Who could argue with that?

I will, because years of consumer reporting have taught me that the regulators, by protecting us from bad things, protect us from good things, too. When we let the government use force to limit our choices, we deprive ourselves of innovation that makes life better. Even genuinely compassionate officials can literally regulate us to death.

In 1962, the FDA didn't let American women take the tranquilizer Thalidomide, while in Europe, women who took it sometimes gave birth to children with no arms or legs. The Thalidomide tragedy is cited as an example of how useful the FDA is, and we're all glad American babies were protected.

But after the Thalidomide success, the FDA grew like a malignant tumor. Getting a new drug approved now takes 12 to 15 years. It takes that long because the FDA wants to be extra sure every drug is safe and effective. That seems reasonable. But this vigilant pursuit of safety also kills people.

Some years ago, the FDA held a news conference and proudly announced, "This new heart drug we're approving will save 14,000 American lives a year!" No one stood up at the press conference to ask, "Doesn't this mean you killed 14,000 people last year — and the year before — by keeping it off the market?" Reporters don't think that way, but the FDA's announcement did mean that. Thousands will die this year while other therapies wait for approval.

You may want to wait. Many of us want to be absolutely sure a drug is safe before we take it. It's natural to want the "experts" to protect us. But why isn't the choice left to us? Why does the FDA get to force us to wait and, in some cases, die, when there are experimental drugs, however risky, that might save our lives?

I interviewed Janet Cheadle, a young girl suffering from a form of cancer that, left untreated, would kill her before she grew up. Her parents wanted to take her to a doctor who claimed he had a treatment that might help her. But the FDA ruled that Janet was not allowed to pursue his treatment because the FDA hadn't sanctioned it. Maybe the wiser move was not to try the treatment. But shouldn't that have been Janet's choice? She was dying. It was her body and her life. Shouldn't she have been allowed to experiment if that was what she and her parents wanted? Ultimately, she was allowed — but only after her father testified before Congress.

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Thousands of Americans die prematurely because they are too fat. Drug companies have invented fat substitutes — ingredients that taste as good as fat but are not absorbed by your body. This would help the obese, but they are not permitted to try them, because the ingredients are still squeezing through the FDA's 12-to-15-year pipeline. After all, there's a tiny chance that something in these innovative products might hurt us.

But what about the thousands of lives that would be saved? Don't those lives count?

No.

The bureaucrats and reporters focus on the victims of innovation. The fen-phen deaths were on the front pages of most every newspaper. We put Thalidomide babies on magazine covers. But what is not seen often matters more. The fat substitute or the new heart drug might save thousands. But whom would I photograph? We don't know which of us might be saved.

Am I suggesting we just junk the FDA and let the market take over? That sounds chaotic and threatening, and it's not about to happen. But there is a better way. That's next week's column.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

STOSSEL'S LATEST
Give Me a Break  

Stossel explains how ambitious bureaucrats, intellectually lazy reporters, and greedy lawyers make your life worse even as they claim to protect your interests. Taking on such sacred cows as the FDA, the War on Drugs, and scaremongering environmental activists -- and backing up his trademark irreverence with careful reasoning and research -- he shows how the problems that government tries and fails to fix can be solved better by the extraordinary power of the free market. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


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