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Kym Anderson, University of Adelaide,Cheryl McRae, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Canberra, Australia,David Wilson, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Canberra, Australia
This chapter examines the choice among sanitary and phytosanitary policies of those that are least trade-distorting. In addressing this choice, we highlight the potential for complementarity between science-based risk assessment and economic-based cost/benefit analysis in regulatory decision processes. We make the argument for fuller integration of these approaches than is often the case. Integrating risk assessment and cost/benefit analysis simultaneously into the regulatory process provides decision makers with a rich two-dimensional nexus of information. It is too optimistic to expect that for all regulatory decisions a fully optimal policy choice can be achieved when only a single dimension of information is considered. The two-dimensional risk assessment-economic analysis nexus gives decision makers an opportunity to evaluate the trade-offs that are faced when they choose among alternative regulatory measures. The criterion “least trade-restrictive” (or more generally, “least trade-distorting”) is one that policy makers can apply to these decisions. It is not a complete decision-making rule, nor is it the only criterion on which policy options might be ranked, but least trade-restrictive is a criterion mandated by the WTO for consideration in SPS policy determination.
The chapter is organised as follows. The next section provides a brief discussion of the concept of a policy being least trade-distorting. We follow by summarising results from two case studies that were re-analysed using somewhat different approaches than those utilised in regulatory decisions. The possibility for either convergence or divergence between the inferences drawn from risk assessment versus cost/benefit analysis is demonstrated for the case of regulation of avocados entering the United States from Mexico.
A famous quote attributed to F. M. Dostoevsky notes that “while nothing is easier than to denounce the evil-doer, nothing is more difficult than to understand him.” Terrorism and torture are twin evils that have dominated news headlines in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. As the former ambassador from Pakistan to the United Nations, Ahmad Kamal, observed, the lines between good and evil become blurred when “terrorists” are often defined on the basis of their success or failure; those who succeed become heroes and even heads of state, whereas those who fail are labeled as terrorists (Kamal, 2002). Likewise, while torture is universally denounced by civilized nations as the dark side of evil, working on that “dark side” was considered “vital” by US Vice President Dick Cheney in responding to terrorist threat (Cheney, 2001). Understanding the architects of terror and torture goes beyond the simple differentiation of “you are either with us or against us” (Bush, 2001), and beyond vilification of those (e.g., multiple Grammy award winners The Dixie Chicks) who dare to cast a self-critical eye on the tensions between our own moral principles and amoral actions. Understanding the evil-doer is difficult, not the least because it also involves looking in the mirror and asking who one is, what one does, and how one is perceived by others. Terrorist acts and torture are not simply “evil”; they have knowable causes. This volume aims to illuminate the terrorism–torture link from multiple, interdisciplinary perspectives.
Terrorism and torture are twin evils that have dominated news headlines - particularly since the horrifying events of 9/11. In this thought-provoking volume, scholars from a diverse range of disciplines examine the complex motivational and situational factors contributing to terrorist acts and state-sponsored torture, and the potential linkage between those two heinous human behaviors. They also consider the strategies that might reduce the threat of future terrorist acts, and the perceived necessity to engage in morally reprehensible - and often illegal - torture practices. With its integrated synthesis of contemporary theories and research on the complex dynamics of the terrorism-torture link, this is an authoritative source for scholars and students of psychology, criminal justice, law, media, communication studies, and political science. It will also appeal to students of other disciplines with an interest in the study of terrorism and torture.
After September 11, 2001, some experts have argued that citizens of Western democracies are being subjected to new global forms of terrorism (Beck, 1997). The popular media have reinforced the view that we are living in a qualitatively different world (Mythen and Walklate, 2006). A passage from The Australian newspaper (September 11, 2006) captures this position:
“I knew … the world was quite never [sic] going to be the same again. You couldn't escape the realisation that this was something like nothing else,” [former Australian Prime Minister] John Howard recalled. He had met Mr. Bush the day before the attacks, and “George Bush and I didn't talk about terrorism on September 10, 2001.” The Prime Minister said Australians had “adjusted in a very sensible way” since then. “They understand things have changed, they accept the need for new laws, they support those laws but they are getting on with their lives and doing the things we want to do while having in the back of our minds there may be one day a terrorist attack which (will) inflict mass casualties on this country,” Mr Howard said.
These “new laws” that John Howard was discussing included the Australian Anti-Terrorism Act (No. 2) 2005, which gave markedly increased powers to Australian authorities in a range of areas including surveillance, detention, and individually focused control orders.
To investigate a cluster of cases of legionnaires' disease among patients at a hospital.
A university hospital that is a regional transplant center.
Retrospective review of microbiology and serology data from the hospital laboratories and prospective surveillance via the radiology department; a case-control study and environmental sampling within the hospital and from nearby cooling towers.
Diagnosis of seven cases of legionnaires' disease in the first 9 months of 1996 led to recognition of a nosocomial outbreak that may have begun as early as 1979. Review of charts from 1987 through September 1996 identified 25 culture-confirmed cases of nosocomial or possibly nosocomial legionnaires' disease, including 18 in bone marrow and heart transplant patients. Twelve patients (48%) died. During the first 9 months of 1996, the attack rate was 6% among cardiac and bone marrow transplant patients. For cases that occurred before 1996, intubation was associated with increased risk for disease. High-dose corticosteroid medication was strongly associated with the risk for disease, but other immunosuppressive therapy or cancer chemotherapy was not. Several species and serogroups of Legionella were isolated from numerous sites in the hospital's potable water system. Six of seven available clinical isolates were identical and were indistinguishable from environmental isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Initial infection control measures failed to interrupt nosocomial acquisition of infection. After extensive modifications to the water system, closely monitored repeated hyperchlorinations, and reduction of patient exposures to aerosols, transmission was interrupted. No cases have been identified since September 1996.
Legionella can colonize hospital potable water systems for long periods of time, resulting in an ongoing risk for patients, especially those who are immunocompromised. In this hospital, nosocomial transmission possibly occurred for more than 17 years and was interrupted in 1996, after a sudden increase in incidence led to its recognition. Hospitals specializing in the care of immunocompromised patients (eg, transplant centers) should prioritize surveillance for cases of legionnaires' disease. Aggressive control measures can interrupt transmission of this disease successfully.
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