Having said all this, I think there are a couple of logical strategies for the GE companies. First, be really careful not to create a product that generates liability claims. Of course, this is a balancing act for them (a risk management exercise, if you will): they want to balance the need to minimize risk of lawsuits (and diminished public confidence, which can be even more costly) while still getting new products to market in a timely fashion.
The fall-back strategy is using the government regulatory/approval system as a buffer -- ie, let the government shoulder the responsibility for assuring public health and safety, then, if things don't work out, blame the watchdogs for failing to do their job.
Because there is not yet experience of disasters attributable to GE, insurers have no way to assess indemnity/liability ratios and ccme up with premium charges -- I think they might also have problems specifying exactly what they were insuring against (a broad, general coverage against suits, particularly given the potential for costly, but unjustified, suits would doubtless carry extremely high premiums. So, yes, these companies are taking the chance that no problems will arise or, if they do, that the responsibility can be shed to some scapegoat (ie, USDA/FDA).
ps. I'm pretty sure that using antibiotic markers/ screening devices is being quickly fazed out in GE, precisely because of the concerns we see in postings that Dan Worley forwards on to us. By far the biggest threats to the continued effectiveness of antibiotics remain (1) overprescription of antibiotics and (2) routine use of antibiotics in animal production (as a growth promoter).
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