January 1, 2005
Fortin, Neal D., The Hang-up with HACCP: The Resistance to Translating Science into Food Safety Law. Food and Drug Law Journal, Vol. 58, pp. 565-594, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=785916
Foodborne illness strikes millions every year and thousands die. HACCP could prevent much of that illness; however, it remains underutilized. HACCP's slow adoption correlates with imperfect information on the safety of food both before and after purchase. Consequently, the market is inefficient at rewarding firms that implement improved food safety measures and rewards firms that externalize certain food safety risks. This market inefficiency creates an underproduction of the level of food safety that consumers desire. The author proposes applying this understanding of market inefficiency to construct a food safety system that adjusts for the current imbalance.