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OpenMarket: Risk and Consumer Freedom

  • New York State’s Proposed Plastic Bag Ban: Assaulting an American Dream

    September 4, 2018

    I recently wrote a blog post about entrepreneur Eli Amsel, who reached out to me about how nanny state regulators and lawmakers have waged war on his New York City-based small business. My first post address the state’s new insane minimum wage law. Now we turn to regulations on plastic and even paper bags that may be the last straw, shutting down Amsel’s business permanently.

  • No, One or Two Alcoholic Drinks a Day Is Not Unsafe or Unhealthy

    August 31, 2018

    Here we go again. A new round of news headlines implies any level of alcohol consumption is bad for you, based on the findings of a single study that contradicts decades of research. “No amount of alcohol is safe, health experts warn” as a CNBC headline put it, with others like CNN, CNBC, The ...

  • One Year Later, Federal Plan on Tobacco Harm Reduction Needs Improvement

    August 31, 2018

    The Food and Drug Administration has failed to approve a single reduced-harm nicotine product in the past year, despite unveiling a new “roadmap” in July 2017 that emphasized the role such products can play a reducing tobacco-related illness. That lapse does a huge disservice to millions of smokers who could benefit from switching from cigarettes to a far less harmful product.

  • Senate Should Pass on Joan Claybrook’s Advice and Pass AV START Act

    August 23, 2018

    Why are self-styled safety advocates opposing the first legislative step that could help usher in the greatest automotive safety improvements in history? This is a question to ask a handful of senators, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who are holding up Senate passage of the bipartisan AV START Act, which would establish the first nationwide regulatory regime for highly automated vehicles (HAVs), often called self-driving cars. The House’s companion bill, the SELF DRIVE Act, passed that chamber by voice vote in September 2017.

  • Weed Killer Hype Lacks Scientific Support

    August 21, 2018

    The latest Environmental Working Group (EWG) “study” sounds an alarm regarding the chemical known as glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide known as “Roundup.” EWG claims that Cheerios, Quaker Oats and other cereals contain dangerous levels of glyphosate. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has also jumped into the fray.

  • Science Reporters Get it Wrong: Moderate Alcohol Consumption Isn't Dangerous

    August 17, 2018

    Joel Achenbach, a science and politics reporter, once asked why “many reasonable people doubt science.” He should look at his own reporting on alcohol research for the possible explanation. Despite decades of overwhelming evidence that moderate drinking confers health benefits, Achenbach’s August 3 Washington Post piece asserts that the evidence is “murky.” The basis for the assertion seems to come from a single study published in April in the journal...

  • The Roundup on Monsanto's Roundup: Six Facts You Should Know

    August 17, 2018

    Yesterday, I addressed why last week’s court order calling for a ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos was both dangerous and wrongheaded. Today, we look at the details of another case that was also decided last Friday related to glyphosate, an herbicide used in Monsanto’s brand known as Roundup. In both cases, environmental activists (and trial lawyers in this particular case) have leveraged junk science to wrongly demonize products that farmers need to produce food.

  • Six Things You Should Know about the Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

    August 16, 2018

    Last week was a bad one for farmers. Two legal decisions were released that promise to undermine access to valuable agrochemicals that farmers need to produce a safe and affordable food supply. Both of these decisions came about thanks to a series of lies, misinformation, and junk science peddled by environmental activists and trial lawyers.

  • Debunking the (Plastic) Straw Man Arguments

    August 3, 2018

    Of all the consumer products one might have expected to become a flashpoint for political controversy, the humble plastic drinking straw is an unlikely contender. Leap into the headlines it has, though, with communities like Seattle and San Francisco recently enacting bans on disposable straws. The city council of Santa Barbara, California initially voted for a ban that would have punished restaurant workers with up to six months of jail time for giving out a disposable plastic straw, but city officials agreed to revisit the ordinance when it appeared to also ban the sale of straws at supermarkets.

  • Driving Innovation: Timbro Index Charts Scope of Global Sharing Economy

    July 26, 2018

    The Swedish think tank Timbro has published the first global index of the sharing economy. The Timbro Sharing Economy Index (TSEI) is the first study to compare the impact of the sharing economy between nations. It does so by providing a new definition of the sharing economy that incorporates the use of excess capacity, large decentralized digital networks as coordinators, and trust between strangers facilitated by infrastructure.

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