FTC Crackdown

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The FTC and FDA have joined forces recently to go after the alternative treatment market for cancer patients. I have no doubts that there is deception and scamming in this market, but there are also some genuine attempts to help people who are suffering.

Such deception has been evident from the news about Chinese baby formula killing children. I keep coming back to the question of why so many in China were buying this product. Today, I got a clue:

A generation ago, when today’s new Chinese parents were infants, milk powder was so scarce that it was one of the top items requested from travelers visiting from overseas.
A wide array of dairy products now lines supermarket shelves, and analysts say the boom has overwhelmed regulators.

People in China have become accustomed to being told by their government what is safe and what is not safe. When markets were opened up in recent years, the government still kept up a charade of telling Chinese citizens that it was protecting them from unsafe products. So the parents bought tainted milk powder.

Americans are falling into the same trap. The alphabet soup inside the Beltway is always trying to convince us that it is keeping us safe. Where is the evidence? It defies logic.

The result is that everytime the FTC takes action like this, it makes us less safe. (Thanks to Skip Oliva)

10:29 am on September 19, 2008