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January 08, 2005

Stupid Warning Labels

CNN via Marginal Revolution (Cowen) tells us (with some editing by me):
The Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, M-LAW, whose main mission is to reveal how lawsuits and anxiety over lawsuits have created a need for overly obvious warnings on products, sponsors the The Wacky Warning Label Contest each year. Here are some top entries:

-- A scooter with the warning "This product moves when used." p> -- An electric blender used for chopping and dicing that reminds users to "Never remove food or other items from the blades while the product is

operating." -- And a three-inch bag of air used for packaging that read "Do not use this product as a toy, pillow, or flotation device."

A toilet brush that says "Do not use for personal hygiene"

So much of the cost of regulation is overreaction. There is a systematic bias to overreact, even from the point of view of private costs. Or is it just an accurate response, given risk and risk aversion?

Posted by erasmuse at January 8, 2005 10:45 AM

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