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Technology: FDA or UL for safety models?
Posted by kallahar on Oct.21.01 at 12:41 pm PDT.

kallahar writes I saw this great note on a counterpane stoy (the rest of the article is unrelated). The issue is whether the FDA model (block all products unless they comply) or the UL model (only let good products be marked as UL Certified) is better. Read more to see the text of the letter.

Commercial cryptography is also similar to electrical power and electrical appliance industries at the turn of the century. One industry went the route of Underwriter's Laboratory. The other industry lobbied for the FDA. Another industry (telephone) simply went for the monopoly. Now with at least 75 years of data (FDA), I would argue the UL route has proven the best.

The incidence of accidental (or deliberate) electrocution is statistically insignificant. The standards for electrical appliances have steadily increased. I.e. a product that passed the UL standards in 1945 would likely fail the 1995 standards.

The FDA kills (or more precisely allows to die) more than 25,000 people per year. This does not include drug overdoses, misfilled prescriptions, incorrect prescriptions or unforseen drug interactions. The 25,000 is the most conservative estimate of people who die from unavailable (non FDA approved) medical treatment. This is simply because the FDA does not care how you die, as long as death is not by an FDA approved method.

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Aug.20.01 by kallahar

"When I was young, I accepted it without question." - Tuvoc, Star Trek Voyager