How do you know that the drug is this vial:

isn’t actually the drug that is in this vial:

The answer? Without trusting that the medication is correctly labelled, you don’t. You trust that the label was correctly applied. OK, so you are a plumber. How can you be sure that this pipe:

Is made from a different material than this pipe:

When you are handloading ammunition, how do you know that the gunpowder you are using is the proper one? What if the one you are using actually creates dangerously high chamber pressures, but is labelled as if it didn’t? How would you know?

How do engineers know that the materials they are using are suitable for a task? It’s called standards. Materials are produced to a standard. Engineers trust that the standard is a good one, and that the certification that a material has met that standard hasn’t been falsified. So what happens if the agency that creates those standards begins to falsify them?

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Dick Tickles · May 18, 2023 at 8:10 am

Obviously, that agency loses its credibility and people stop believing them. Of course, since that agency is a government agency it will forever exist and both government and corporate propaganda will continue to hold it up as a prestigious entity that is rooted in science and is in no way influenced by politics and half the population will believe it.

The other half will see thru the lies and further erode confidence in the institutions the nation was founded on. Beyond that, there’s plenty of blame that can be placed on Doctors who knowingly administered these unproven therapies, but dummied up because they’d be fired or sued if they didn’t or if they said it wasn’t safe or effective.

The bottom line is that the US is a nation hurtling towards collapse and the lack of faith in all its institutions plays a key role in the acceleration of that collapse. One need look no further than the USSR’s end to see that same parallels in the USSA. Russia was lucky to avoid a civil war after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the US will likely devolve into civil war once it collapses.

    Divemedic · May 18, 2023 at 9:00 am

    Knowingly and unproven are mutually exclusive.

Grau · May 18, 2023 at 9:56 am

Aside from deliberately fraud, human error alone has gotten bad enough that the company I work at bought. $10k XRF gun (and took on all the OSHA radiological compliance headaches) to ensure our raw material is what the certs say it is. We make aerospace parts, so it’s kind of important that 300 series stainless doesn’t get used when inconel 625 is called out. Having engine parts go melty in flight is frowned on.

    Divemedic · May 18, 2023 at 10:14 am

    Right. But who decides what the standard for a metal being called 300 stainless is? What happens if the government tells labs all over the US “You WILL call this metal with these properties 300 stainless. Anyone who says otherwise will lose their license to work in this field. No more lab, no more engineering.”
    So the labs all begin telling you that this particular stuff is 300 stainless, and the government is mandating that you and everyone else use it for application X. Now what?

Steve · May 18, 2023 at 10:01 am

I take it this was mostly directed at me.

When it comes to engineering data, that’s easy. There is not some central agency that we go to in order to find out the physical properties of materials. An essential part of any quality system is qualifying your vendors. If they can’t supply material to my specifications every time, they don’t qualify. True, a client could over-rule me. In that case, I either get a hard waiver of liability or more often refuse the job. The truck does not get unloaded until I am satisfied the material meets my standard.

Yes, I’m picky. It’s not just my reputation at risk. If something goes wrong people could die. I’m just appalled the standard is not at least as high in the medical profession.

    Divemedic · May 18, 2023 at 10:07 am

    And where does the standard come from that the lab uses? Who sets measurement standards? Who decides what materials are to be used? Who sets the standard by which materials are chosen, for building a skyscraper, for instance? There IS a central agency. All labs have to conform to it. You don’t think the government would leave it up to individuals, do you?

    I will give you a hint: 15 USC Ch. 7

    wojtek · May 18, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    “As an agency that has studied and investigated building failures for more than 50 years and wields legislative authority to get to the bottom of disasters, NIST plays a key role in updating codes.”

    Mudswimmer · May 18, 2023 at 7:16 pm

    I once took a flatbed worth of wire from coastal South Carolina to Texas in 2012~2013. The customer was almost finished unloading when their QA or some such told them to reload because they were rejecting it. It wasn’t up to their standards, but that manufacturer had never failed before, apparently. I got the job to return it, and asked around at the plant when I returned. Scuttlebutt there was the layoffs and replacement NonUS labor could not come anywhere near close to making the previous products. I know they weren’t open when I went to Myrtle Beach a few months later. Maybe moved, but IDK. Competence counts for quality in my opinion.

Pito Norte · May 18, 2023 at 10:38 am

Remember the contaminated Tylenol back in 1982?
I was a lil’ shaver and had just taken some and gasped when it came on the Bolshevik enemedia report, my older brothers laughed!
I thank them for toughening me up with Chinese haircuts and smashing any Village People albums!

wojtek · May 18, 2023 at 12:50 pm

Trust is fundamental for doctors and researchers as much as it is for engineers, teachers, drivers, cooks, etc. A couple of examples from another continent in another century (none of that ever happens anymore). An engineer in charge of a trafostation project, after turning it off, would grab with bare hand a piece of an open wire for the workers to know that it is safe. Engineers in charge of a gas pipeline construction would have a smoke next to the installation after turning it on. Designers and supervisors of a bridge construction would have a drink under the bridge during bridge load testing. Every profession developed some tradition that would enhance public’s trust in their work.

It would seem appropriate for researchers and government officials to volunteer to test the vaccines they just developed and approved for public use, wouldn’t it?

    Divemedic · May 18, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    Didn’t I just say that I had received the vaccine?
    I have always believed that medical care is about consent. One of the underlying tenets of medicine is the idea of informed consent. I was always against mandatory COVID vaccines.

    I advised some people that it was a good idea for them, while I advised others that it wasn’t as necessary. The information that I was given, that most providers were given, was wrong. That doesn’t make medical providers evil.

    There is no way to test a vaccine without giving it to people. Unlike machines, there is no way to test them without doing so, because people aren’t machines. They are biologics, meaning that biological variation will cause the vaccine to react differently in one person than they do in another.

    There was a better way than how it was done, but that is far above my paygrade. I take great pride in always doing a great job, always doing what it right by my patients, and being a moral and good provider. Anyone who impugns that will be considered a personal attack, and the comment will not be published.

      wojtek · May 18, 2023 at 2:04 pm

      Yes, but here you are a customer as much as almost anybody else. What I am suggesting is that what would increase people’s trust in procedures is if entire FDA, CDC, NIH and biotech companies were the first to take mass-mandated vaccines. All employees, without exceptions.

exile1981 · May 18, 2023 at 6:11 pm

Ok as someone who works with alloys daily i’ll answer. Our metals are all certified to a standard set by ASME who publish that X material will have certain % of certain materials. We then get an mtr (material test report) from the foundry to certify that the material meets the spec. Additionally we take a % of all materials and use PMI (positive material identification) to verify the chemical composition and confirm it matches the spec and the MTR.

So we verify the vendor is meeting the spec.


    Divemedic · May 18, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    That’s the answer I was looking for. You can test the drug to see if the drug is what it is claimed to be. That’s the easy part.

    Now imagine that you are giving a medication. How do you know if the drug will have the desired effect? The only way to know is to give it to a patient. Even worse, drugs usually have the same effect from patient to patient. But not always, because people are biological systems, which are many magnitudes more complicated than mechanical- or even electronic- ones.
    The only way to know what a drug will do is to test it on a large enough group of people to make it statistically significant, and even then you will miss some effects.
    So what happens when the people who were supposed do the testing lie about what the drug does?

      Steve · May 19, 2023 at 11:11 am

      I’m not sure that is even possible. ASME did a bunch of testing, and determined that metals that have a certain composition and manufacture method have these characteristics. That’s not the kind of thing that changes a whole lot. We decide what properties we need first, and only then decide which material best satisfies those demands. The only possible issue is in new materials.

      There’s a reason we PEs are a conservative bunch, to the point that what are probably better composites do not get into designs because we have not yet seen enough failure data to take the chance on them. We’d just as soon go with a thicker wall 304 that we have oodles of data about, even if it costs 30% more. That 30% is nothing compared to the cost of a failure.

      I do agree with you, though, on the systems that are supposed to qualify drugs failed big time. I don’t know why anyone expected anything different, though. They were deliberately bypassing all the safety systems that were implemented over time as corrective actions for previous modes of failure.

      The big question will be if the med establishment falls for it again. So far I see little to think the profession as a whole has learned from this.

        Divemedic · May 19, 2023 at 11:20 am

        I don’t know that there is a way to fix it. The medical profession is the most regulated and controlled industry in the nation. I agree that the system needs to change, but I don’t think that changes that would actually improve things will ever happen, because those changes would require the government to change the way that it regulates everything, and that just isn’t in the cards. The powers that be have no reason to actually improve anything.

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