Improve Food Safety and Quality though Greater Information, Consumer Choice, and Legal Accountability

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Few issues are as important to consumers as the safety and quality of their food—from microbial contaminants to pesticides, and from organics to obesity recent health scares—from E. coli-contaminated spinach and tomatoes to melamine-contaminated infant formula and pet food—show just how fragile the food chain can be. But, while these tragic events have led to calls for greater government regulation of the food supply, the nature of these scares shows that additional regulations or inspections are likely to do little to improve food safety. Indeed, poorly conceived government regulation often does as much to compromise food safety, affordability, and choice as to promote it—especially when the regulatory framework is focused on a fear-driven activist agenda rather than on basic principles of science and genuine safety.