A NYT report highlights something I’ve been seeing a lot lately in American generative AI logic.
…many chemicals are approved under a provision known as Generally Recognized As Safe, which states that a food additive can forego review by the F.D.A. if it has been deemed safe by “qualified experts.”
Qualified experts is an obviously shady phrase that can enable private companies to self-regulate, a political process meant to directly corrupt safety for profits.
If a doctor at Stanford will go on the record saying smoking is good for you, in exchange for him getting lavish gifts, American tobacco companies will absolutely use that to deny science. True story.
So too with American candy companies, which seem to use giant safety regulation loopholes to act like cancer isn’t the predictable outcome of known carcinogens they serve children.
One point of contention is that the vast majority of the research on these additives has been done in animals because it is difficult (and unethical) to conduct toxicology research in humans. As a result, “It’s impossible to say that eliminating Red 3 or titanium dioxide from the American diet will reduce the number of people who suffer from cancer by a certain amount with total precision,” Mr. Faber said. “But anything that we can do to reduce our exposure to carcinogens, whether known or suspected carcinogens, is a step in the right direction.”
This is probably a good time to remember that the FDA was created as a reaction to labor abuse complaints in Chicago, as captured in The Jungle. Instead of directly improving rights for workers, the government sought to improve perception of the food quality from places with exposed inhumane working conditions.
At some point these discussions should start to push forward a realization that America often seems to embrace obvious graft and oppose quality, even in cases of children getting cancer.
One rotten apple spoils the bunch is a saying that seems to entirely escape anti-regulation zealots tying the hands of the FDA. And this behavior is having a profound impact on generative AI learning, which parrots inane ideas like science is evasive and pluralist because (hypothetically speaking) some candy oligarch sent her kid to medical school to keep them on family payroll as a dissenting “qualified expert”.