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Author Topic: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights  (Read 7361 times)
hugolp
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September 02, 2011, 06:41:57 AM
 #41

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You should be careful about making claims you cannot clearly prove.  Perhaps you are actually bitcoin2cash?  Or maybe I am AyeYo? 

Also, I am fairly new to internet forums, but I've learned that the word "troll" is subjective and almost meaningless.

The fact that they only appear together gives them up. But its quite clear that a big part of the new people around here are trolls. Even if you are new to the internet you just have to see the mood that there was at the beggining and the mood that there is now. Some months ago there were discussions even with communists in a civilized manner. Now its all personal attacks with little substance. A troll (like for example Jeffk) will keep giving you the roundabout when you discuss with him, then will turn around and say the contrary of what its telling you in another thread, then it will repeat arguments you have already refuted in other threads, will tend to attack personally, etc...

More to the point, I'm seeing in libertarians a naivete that is hardly aware of the complexities of the biosphere. As an example, are you aware of any of the following terms and their significance?

  • Edge effects
  • Umbrella species
  • Trophic cascades

You may or may not be, but regardless, in a libertarian society, your knowledge of such topics does you little good if your neighbors don't care to know their significance.

Yes, exactly like in a democracy. Your point being?
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September 02, 2011, 06:48:15 AM
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What I don't understand is people who attack libertarianism on the basis that it ignores reality and analyzes man outside of society.  The libertarian authors I read analyze man in the context of society.  As it should be done.  The significance of libertarianism is that it starts with the individual as the basic component of society and then analyzes the individual in the context of the broader society.  

Go find your favorite libertarian think tank websites. Then check their stance on climate change, among other things. You'll find that they are almost always skeptical of climate change. Now, without even getting into whether climate change is real or not, ask yourself why you wouldn't find about half of the libertarian think tanks to be pro climate change, and about half to be anti climate change.

I understand what you are saying, but on the other hand you are attacking them for their consistency.  Wouldn't you expect a logically consistent ideology to have consistency among its think tanks?

My analysis is that libertarians value freedom from any type of regulation with regard to their property over in depth studies of civilization's ever increasing impact on the biosphere. Consider the following statement:

Quote
“The scale of the human socio-economic-political complex system is so large that it seriously interferes with the biospheric complex system upon which it is wholly dependant, and cultural evolution has been too slow to deal effectively with the resulting crisis.”
—Paul R. Ehrlich

In other words, where do you see libertarians unifying themselves to address the point made by Ehrlich? I'm not seeing it at all, but instead seeing a near blanket wide denial of the problem, or a claim that the untested theory of property rights will solve it.

More to the point, I'm seeing in libertarians a naivete that is hardly aware of the complexities of the biosphere. As an example, are you aware of any of the following terms and their significance?

  • Edge effects
  • Umbrella species
  • Trophic cascades

You may or may not be, but regardless, in a libertarian society, your knowledge of such topics does you little good if your neighbors don't care to know their significance.

Climate change is the kind of topic I generally avoid because the research is so polarized and the debates endlessly polemic.  However it is probably time I start looking into it.  Perhaps you can refer me to some resources?
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September 02, 2011, 07:25:46 AM
 #43

I understand what you are saying, but on the other hand you are attacking them for their consistency.  Wouldn't you expect a logically consistent ideology to have consistency among its think tanks?

I don't see how a political ideology should bias the interpretation of scientific data. It logically follows that if a political ideology is not biasing one's interpretation of scientific data, then there would not be such a consistent belief among the members of that political ideology that the scientific data should be interpreted such that it just happily coincides with the libertarian's view that nobody should suffer regulation.

Climate change is the kind of topic I generally avoid because the research is so polarized and the debates endlessly polemic.  However it is probably time I start looking into it.  Perhaps you can refer me to some resources?

But the research is not polarized at all! It's the non researchers, the 'think tanks' which are funded by the likes of Exxon Mobil and advocate zero regulation, who publish officious sounding newsletters masquerading as real science who are the ones making a lot of noise trying to make the uninformed public think that the scientific community is polarized. The Oregon Institute petition is a classic example.

As for recommending material on climate change, would not the simplest and most honest source material be peer reviewed scientific literature? Nature and Science Magazine are no brainers. But if you want less technical material, Scientific American is an excellent magazine.

There is no single article that can sway your viewpoint one way or another. Rather, I have found that over time, and after having read numerous articles which detail the scientific methods, discuss the studies, the correlations between core samples and satellite data, and the correlations between tree rings and soil deposition, and by learning about glacier calvings or weather patterns, that ultimately, the idea that anthropogenic global warming is happening is both convincing and equally important, interesting. That last point is important. The real science is interesting, not the brownlash material which really is driven by a political agenda. Also read the online Seed Magazine. Trust me. These publications aren't out to pull the wool over your eyes and deceive you. But you might find it refreshing to go from being enlightened via a libertarian view to simply being humbled about the complexity of our world and the real problems that we face.

But if you really want to read the brownlash material, driven by a political agenda which is really all about property rights and anti-regulation, (and funded by the likes of Exxon Mobil), then you can read any number of 'documents' and newsletters, such as Environment & Climate News, put out by the Heartland Institute, and edited by a property rights advocate, as opposed to someone who has any type of scientific credentials, let alone a scientific degree related to climatology or ecology.

Choose your source material wisely.

If you want to learn about edge effects, umbrella species, wildlife corridors, and conservation in general, or the importance of biodiversity, then read John Terborgh, Tim Flannery, or Dave Foreman. And of course, read Paul Ehrlich's The Dominant Animal. He's taken a lot of flak for some predictions he's made, but you should read his recent book before making any judgements.
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September 02, 2011, 08:07:16 AM
 #44

I actually half-agree with the implications of your post. I think that in the modern age the FDA's most important role is not punishing fraud and dangerous practices (the fines they issue, when they issue them, are usually trivial compared to the company's profits) but in revealing such practices so that they can be confronted with civil suits, bad publicity, and marketplace shunning. The information is disseminated rapidly and widely through private channels, and people pay attention to it, after the initial disclosure. I don't think that this information would be efficiently disclosed in the absence of government action, though.

For a modern example look at the nutritional supplements market, where the FDA has very limited regulatory authority. Independent academic testing has revealed wide quality variance between brands and even different batches of the same brand's product in the case of (e.g.) probiotic supplements. Nutritional supplements are also often promoted with scientifically dubious claims of pharmaceutical-like action that would not pass muster if they were regulated as pharmaceuticals. Private for-profit agencies are not providing the transparency and verification that the government has eschewed in this largely unregulated area. Quackery also doesn't seem to be effectively punished by marketplace discrimination. I am all for consenting and informed adults taking any sort of risk they like, but I won't defend the right of sellers to peddle nonsense and the right of buyers to be fooled by it.

Is there fraud taking place? If so, why aren't these companies being sued out of business? Fraud is and should be illegal. If there is no fraud taking place then what exactly are you complaining about? It's your responsibility to learn about a product before you buy it. Also, vitamins aren't prescribed by a doctor. Comparing how doctors recommend medication vs. the average joe shopping at GNC doesn't really work. A few people being irresponsible is not an excuse to deny the rest of us our personal freedoms. That's the argument from principle. If that doesn't convince you then here's the argument from consequences.

http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2009/03/25/mary-ruwart-deadly-secrets-behind-soaring-pharmaceutical-prices/

Watch the video in that link. The doctor estimates that 4.7 million people have died from delays by the FDA of drugs that were eventually declared safe. She estimates that another 4 to 16 million people were killed by not being allowed access to drugs that are safe but couldn't be jumped through the FDA's hoops. How many lives has the FDA saved? She says about 7,000 and even says that if that number is off by a factor of 100 that 700,000 people is still a lot less than 4.7 million people if you only count the delays. Some people will die either way. The way you're proposing makes drugs cost more, makes healthcare have to be rationed sparingly and kills even more people.
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September 02, 2011, 08:15:39 AM
 #45

I'll pass over your being OK that if stupid people make the wrong buying decisions, they die.  We already covered that when you added that their kids should be taken off them too :p

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Ruwart

Dr. Mary Ruwart's personal website is frustratingly short of material - its one of those "Buy my book" sites.  Google just comes up with videos of interviews.  If you know of a link to something she wrote with sources, it might be good.

She is 1 person with her own agenda.  As such, she has to be put in the context of 100s of 1000s of researchers that take a different view.

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September 02, 2011, 05:06:29 PM
 #46

I'll pass over your being OK that if stupid people make the wrong buying decisions, they die.

That's every person's right though. If they want you to be their savior then let them ask for your help. Why do you feel that you have the right to force it on them? Even if they do want your help, what right do you have to force it on the rest of us that emphatically don't want your help?

Dr. Mary Ruwart's personal website is frustratingly short of material...

You might want to check it again. Her book is listed there as available for download.

Here's the relevant chapter: http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/chap6.html

Here's the the bibliography page: http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/references.html

If you have other references that contradict hers, please link them. It won't do to just say "she's biased and there are thousands of other researchers that take a different view". Show me.


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September 02, 2011, 05:18:56 PM
 #47

If you have other references that contradict hers, please link them. It won't do to just say "she's biased and there are thousands of other researchers that take a different view". Show me.

Although you have me on ignore, I reply to you for the benefit of other readers. I think my last two posts in this thread do an excellent job of illustrating the difference between peer reviewed science and scientific consensus, vs. organizations which are motivated by political agendas. Everyone is invited to read or reread what I said.

There is a big difference between scientists who allow scientific results to influence their political agenda and those who allow their political agenda to influence their interpretation of scientific data.
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September 02, 2011, 05:27:03 PM
 #48

I'll pass over your being OK that if stupid people make the wrong buying decisions, they die.

That's every person's right though. If they want you to be their savior then let them ask for your help. Why do you feel that you have the right to force it on them? Even if they do want your help, what right do you have to force it on the rest of us that emphatically don't want your help?

Dr. Mary Ruwart's personal website is frustratingly short of material...

You might want to check it again. Her book is listed there as available for download.

Here's the relevant chapter: http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/chap6.html

Here's the the bibliography page: http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/references.html

If you have other references that contradict hers, please link them. It won't do to just say "she's biased and there are thousands of other researchers that take a different view". Show me.




Thanks - I assumed I had to go to Amazon.

Chapter 6 is a horror story of people dying for no good reason when they took drugs their doctors prescribed. 

"Brand name loyalty rewarded the drug manufacturer who always gave the customer what was promised."  Thats an IP dependency.  You don't believe in brand names being protected so that logic doesn't apply to your case.

"Careful consumers could choose to buy only approved products." - I know you don't care about stupid people dying but really, most of us do.

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September 02, 2011, 05:46:42 PM
 #49

"Careful consumers could choose to buy only approved products." - I know you don't care about stupid people dying but really, most of us do.

That's unfair. I care about people dying and I also wouldn't call them stupid. Some people just don't have the same values that you and I do. Ultimately, their lives are in their hands. They are free to ask for help or they are free to go their own ways. I don't want to treat other people like I'm better than them or like they're my children. They are my equals with just as much right to decide their own fate as I have to decide mine. If they don't want to take the time to find a trusted approved product then that's their choice and I have no right to force my values on them. Unless they are committing aggression against me or my property, I have no right to force them to do anything.
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September 02, 2011, 07:26:15 PM
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"Careful consumers could choose to buy only approved products." - I know you don't care about stupid people dying but really, most of us do.

That's unfair. I care about people dying and I also wouldn't call them stupid. Some people just don't have the same values that you and I do. Ultimately, their lives are in their hands. They are free to ask for help or they are free to go their own ways. I don't want to treat other people like I'm better than them or like they're my children. They are my equals with just as much right to decide their own fate as I have to decide mine. If they don't want to take the time to find a trusted approved product then that's their choice and I have no right to force my values on them. Unless they are committing aggression against me or my property, I have no right to force them to do anything.

If you are aware that one course of action will result in a lot of dead people and another avoids, and there is no cost to you personally, why not take the course that saves lives? 

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September 02, 2011, 07:41:53 PM
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For a modern example look at the nutritional supplements market, where the FDA has very limited regulatory authority. Independent academic testing has revealed wide quality variance between brands and even different batches of the same brand's product in the case of (e.g.) probiotic supplements. Nutritional supplements are also often promoted with scientifically dubious claims of pharmaceutical-like action that would not pass muster if they were regulated as pharmaceuticals. Private for-profit agencies are not providing the transparency and verification that the government has eschewed in this largely unregulated area. Quackery also doesn't seem to be effectively punished by marketplace discrimination. I am all for consenting and informed adults taking any sort of risk they like, but I won't defend the right of sellers to peddle nonsense and the right of buyers to be fooled by it.

Is there fraud taking place? If so, why aren't these companies being sued out of business? Fraud is and should be illegal. If there is no fraud taking place then what exactly are you complaining about? It's your responsibility to learn about a product before you buy it. Also, vitamins aren't prescribed by a doctor. Comparing how doctors recommend medication vs. the average joe shopping at GNC doesn't really work. A few people being irresponsible is not an excuse to deny the rest of us our personal freedoms.

Yes, there is fraud taking place. Products with at least some substance to them, like amino acids, herbal extracts, and tailored bacterial cultures, are being sold with wide variations in composition yet the same labeling. Pure quack products (like homeopathic flu remedies) are making zany medical claims for products that would never make it through the clinical trials required of mainstream drugs. It's not just affecting a few people; each year millions of Americans buy overpriced sugar pills in a futile attempt to treat viral infections. I won't speculate on the reasons that the companies aren't sued into oblivion or driven out of the market by private product evaluation agencies, other than to say it reminds me of the old joke about economists:

An economist and his friend are walking down the street when the friend sees a ten dollar bill on the sidewalk.

“Look,” he says, “it’s a ten dollar bill”.

“Nonsense,” says the economist. “If that was a ten dollar bill, someone would have picked it up by now.”


To be clear: I think that companies should be allowed to sell vitamins, herbal extracts, and all the other stuff you find at the health food store. I even think that homeopathic junk should be legal, so long as full disclosure is in place. If the product isn't consistent in composition, that information should be disclosed on the label in statistical terms. The FDA should ensure that the products' labels contain the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If companies are going to pimp their homeopathic junk with a study or two about beneficial effects, they should also be required to mention, with equal prominence, the far more numerous studies that fail to show any benefit of homeopathy over placebo. For that matter, I'd like to see the FDA crack down on nonsense claims for (e.g.) shampoos that "nourish hair cells" -- your hair is made of dead cells, and nothing can nourish dead cells! I don't want to outlaw products. Philosophically I think that people should be allowed to make informed choices for themselves, even harmful ones, and pragmatically prohibition often creates more problems than it solves. I only want to see them compelled to engage in full disclosure of any relevant facts. I want to ensure that buyers and users have no excuse for being uninformed, rather than giving the sellers free reign and placing the burden on end users to hire private analytical chemists, biologists, doctors, and statisticians.
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September 02, 2011, 08:06:42 PM
 #52

Yes, there is fraud taking place. Products with at least some substance to them, like amino acids, herbal extracts, and tailored bacterial cultures, are being sold with wide variations in composition yet the same labeling. Pure quack products (like homeopathic flu remedies) are making zany medical claims for products that would never make it through the clinical trials required of mainstream drugs. It's not just affecting a few people; each year millions of Americans buy overpriced sugar pills in a futile attempt to treat viral infections.

If it's fraud then it's illegal now and would still be illegal in a libertarian society. The fact that nobody cares to sue these companies means that nobody cares. If they don't care, why bother wasting resources to force people to care? Where exactly is the problem? The people have already spoken, by not speaking.

I only want to see them compelled to engage in full disclosure of any relevant facts.

That's what you want. Nobody else seems to care. Why should everyone else be forced to bend to your will? It's one thing to demand that your person and your property not have aggression committed against them. It's another thing to demand that everyone have the same values that you have.
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September 02, 2011, 08:13:58 PM
 #53

Yes, there is fraud taking place. Products with at least some substance to them, like amino acids, herbal extracts, and tailored bacterial cultures, are being sold with wide variations in composition yet the same labeling. Pure quack products (like homeopathic flu remedies) are making zany medical claims for products that would never make it through the clinical trials required of mainstream drugs. It's not just affecting a few people; each year millions of Americans buy overpriced sugar pills in a futile attempt to treat viral infections.

If it's fraud then it's illegal now and would still be illegal in a libertarian society. The fact that nobody cares to sue these companies means that nobody cares. If they don't care, why bother wasting resources to force people to care? Where exactly is the problem? The people have already spoken, by not speaking.

I only want to see them compelled to engage in full disclosure of any relevant facts.

That's what you want. Nobody else seems to care. Why should everyone else be forced to bend to your will? It's one thing to demand that your person and your property not have aggression committed against them. It's another thing to demand that everyone have the same values that you have.

I think you'll find most people care.  You are inverting aggression; refusing to take label the contents of the good takes away people's change to evaluate the product.  Since we want to encourage people to evaluate products, we are entitled to insist on accurate labels.  Its bad enough that you are OK with people who are stupid being poisoned; now you want to take away the obligation to tell of the risk as well?  You do realise, it could be a semi-literate chef in a hotel where you are eating and it might be your food gets poisoned.  Even if only for your own safety, this is a good idea.

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September 02, 2011, 09:01:54 PM
 #54

Yes, there is fraud taking place. Products with at least some substance to them, like amino acids, herbal extracts, and tailored bacterial cultures, are being sold with wide variations in composition yet the same labeling. Pure quack products (like homeopathic flu remedies) are making zany medical claims for products that would never make it through the clinical trials required of mainstream drugs. It's not just affecting a few people; each year millions of Americans buy overpriced sugar pills in a futile attempt to treat viral infections.

If it's fraud then it's illegal now and would still be illegal in a libertarian society. The fact that nobody cares to sue these companies means that nobody cares. If they don't care, why bother wasting resources to force people to care? Where exactly is the problem? The people have already spoken, by not speaking.

You've missed a large excluded middle between "nobody cares" and "private action would have already solved the problem if the problem were real." I see libertarianism as laudable insofar as it promotes a greater spectrum of possibilities for most people -- enhanced freedom of personal choice, maximized to the extent that it doesn't excessively intrude on others' freedom. I don't see it as laudable if it's just an exercise in getting rid of shepherds so that clever wolves can exploit unwary sheep without interference. If people buy products that they otherwise wouldn't due to misleading or incomplete information, that doesn't promote a utility-maximizing market or personal freedom any more than waiting until people are drunk to ask them to sign contracts.
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September 02, 2011, 09:45:04 PM
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You've missed a large excluded middle between "nobody cares" and "private action would have already solved the problem if the problem were real." I see libertarianism as laudable insofar as it promotes a greater spectrum of possibilities for most people -- enhanced freedom of personal choice, maximized to the extent that it doesn't excessively intrude on others' freedom. I don't see it as laudable if it's just an exercise in getting rid of shepherds so that clever wolves can exploit unwary sheep without interference. If people buy products that they otherwise wouldn't due to misleading or incomplete information, that doesn't promote a utility-maximizing market or personal freedom any more than waiting until people are drunk to ask them to sign contracts.

It doesn't make sense to claim that people care about something when they appear to be apathetic when it comes to doing anything about it. Since we're using analogies, it would be like me claiming that I love my girlfriend yet I never call or visit her.
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September 02, 2011, 09:53:40 PM
 #56

You've missed a large excluded middle between "nobody cares" and "private action would have already solved the problem if the problem were real." I see libertarianism as laudable insofar as it promotes a greater spectrum of possibilities for most people -- enhanced freedom of personal choice, maximized to the extent that it doesn't excessively intrude on others' freedom. I don't see it as laudable if it's just an exercise in getting rid of shepherds so that clever wolves can exploit unwary sheep without interference. If people buy products that they otherwise wouldn't due to misleading or incomplete information, that doesn't promote a utility-maximizing market or personal freedom any more than waiting until people are drunk to ask them to sign contracts.

It doesn't make sense to claim that people care about something when they appear to be apathetic when it comes to doing anything about it. Since we're using analogies, it would be like me claiming that I love my girlfriend yet I never call or visit her.

You expect far too much from people and are comfortable with them dying if they fail to make the grade.  Its sad if people are careless but that is no reason to let them buy poisons.  If a chef is stupid and takes a cheap load of vegetables, is it OK that his customers get sick and die?  And is suing the chef really going to make any difference?  Better to forbid selling contaminated food.

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September 02, 2011, 10:44:15 PM
 #57

You expect far too much from people and are comfortable with them dying if they fail to make the grade.

I think people can read labels. You seem to think that either everyone has to have their own food safety lab or the government has to do it all. Where's the middle ground? Don't you think that it's possible for independent food safety agencies to exist? Don't you think that if you're an honest food manufacturer you would welcome these agencies to check out your operation? If some food is for sale but has no rating on it, only people that want untested food will buy it.

If a chef is stupid and takes a cheap load of vegetables, is it OK that his customers get sick and die?  And is suing the chef really going to make any difference?

If a restaurant doesn't have some sort of rating where it has well known practices and independent verification of those practices, would the average person eat there?
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September 02, 2011, 11:41:28 PM
 #58

I did some more research trying to figure out why homeopathic product manufacturers haven't been pummeled by private action in the courts. I found a high profile action from 2003, where the defendants successfully argued that only the FDA, not the courts, can regulate homeopathic products. Since the FDA enforces no standards for efficacy on homeopathic products, vendors have free reign for fraud. Additionally, the defendants successfully recovered lawsuit costs from the suit initiators under anti-SLAPP law, arguing that their baseless medical claims were protected commercial speech. In the absence of government regulation, medical fraud is easy and profitable while fighting fraud is difficult and unprofitable. You can find hundreds of web pages by quacks and their supporters cheering this ruling: "our products still don't need any evidence for their claims, hooray for freedom!"
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September 02, 2011, 11:55:49 PM
 #59

I found a high profile action from 2003, where the defendants successfully argued that only the FDA, not the courts, can regulate homeopathic products. Since the FDA enforces no standards for efficacy on homeopathic products, vendors have free reign for fraud.

So, you present evidence that the FDA is ineffective and public courts aren't enforcing laws against fraud and this is supposed to instill confidence in the government? You want more of that?
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September 03, 2011, 12:01:22 AM
 #60

I found a high profile action from 2003, where the defendants successfully argued that only the FDA, not the courts, can regulate homeopathic products. Since the FDA enforces no standards for efficacy on homeopathic products, vendors have free reign for fraud.

So, you present evidence that the FDA is ineffective and public courts aren't enforcing laws against fraud and this is supposed to instill confidence in the government? You want more of that?

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