I was surprised, then not surprised, to read from an article by
Jeremy Rifkin that insurance companies have reported declined
(quietly) to insure the life sciences companies for longterm
catastrophic loss. They are reportedly insured for short term
damages and negligence, but not for longer term ecological or human
health damages, apparently because it is not possible for the
insurance companies to even guess at the dollar value of such losses.
Rifkin further notes that the companies have not filed for protection
under the same US act which shields the nuclear industry from
liability in the event of catastrophic damage. To do so, of course,
would be to admit to the possibility of such losses.
Thus, they are running without insurance against the kinds of risks
that are increasingly envisionable, based on scientific evidence
published in reputable journals.
Now, bring in the scale of the companies, and one wonders just what
they will do in the event of a genuine catastrophic event. They seem
to have cut (or declined to cross) all their bridges, which leaves me
to wonder if they are planning to pull a "Chrysler", and expect to be
bailed out with our own (taxpayers) money? Ann
Dr. E. Ann Clark
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 2508
FAX: 519 763-8933
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