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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The aim of this article is to orient economists new to the issue of food safety. It provides an overview of the scope of current food safety problems and the food safety policy reforms being adopted to address them around the world. Current efforts to modernize food safety policy are being shaped by several larger trends: globalization, use of risk analysis and cost-benefit analysis in public administration, and total quality management regimes in industry. Then, this article briefly examines two major roles that public economics can play in food safety policy: better informing policymakers about the social benefits and costs of their decisions and strengthening risk assessment. It reviews a rather coherent set of policy reforms that are being adopted worldwide to modernize food safety policy and shows that it will be a challenge for economists to make certain that their insights are heard and their relevance understood.

Keywords: food safety policy, public economics, social benefits, economists, cost-benefit analysis

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