The producer, importer or supplier of a product passes on to the consumer the high cost of protecting himself against litigation for damage cause by a defective product. Legal costs include insurance and fees for lawyers. In the USA, awards by courts for injury has risen at an exorbitant rate. Defensive measures increase the cost of a product. Additional and unnecessary medical tests might be conducted to protect against medical malpractice suits. Industries may be made internationally uncompetitive because of these increased costs.
There is a theory of product liability in which the misuse of a product, even when it is not defective, becomes the pretext for a damage claim. Items manufactured in compliance with every safety law, accompanied by careful warnings against misuse, nonetheless become subjects of litigation.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.