ERS food-safety research examines how markets, consumers, and
regulators interact to provide safe food, analyzes the economic
efficiency of these interactions, and informs public sector
food-safety policies by addressing questions such as:
- Do consumers' food choices create sufficient incentives or are
consumers' demands for food safety unmet even though suppliers are
able (physically and financially) to meet those demands?
- Can food safety be marketed and, if so, how do sellers (all
along the food supply chain) gain buyers' trust that foods meet
advertised safety margins? Is trust bought with third-party
certification or made with contracts?
- What would greater food safety cost at different points in the
food supply chain?
- Can public-sector intervention solve consumer food safety
demands and, if so, at what cost?
- Do regulatory actions--hazard analysis critical control point
(HACCP) requirements and enforcement applied to food manufacturers,
school lunch contracts, and consumer safe-food handling
labels--increase economic incentives for food-safety innovation and
adoption of better practices throughout the supply chain?
The other main federal regulatory agencies are:
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for domestic and imported
food, except meat and poultry, egg products, and catfish; and
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for setting pesticide
tolerances in food.