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Was It Something I Ate? Implementation of the FDA Seafood HACCP Program

  • Anna Alberini

    (University of Maryland)

  • Erik Lichtenberg

    (University of Maryland)

  • Dominic Mancini

    (The U.S. Office of Management and Budget)

  • Gregmar I. Galinato

    (University of Maryland)

We use FDA’s seafood inspection records to examine: (i) how FDA has targeted its inspections under HACCP regulation; (ii) the effects of FDA inspections on compliance with both HACCP and plant sanitation standards; and (iii) the relationship between HACCP regulations and pre-existing sanitation standards. We use a theoretical model of enforcement to derive hypotheses about FDA’s targeting of inspections and firms’ patterns of compliance. We test those hypotheses using econometric models of inspection and compliance. Contrary to the predictions of the theoretical model and to FDA’s own stated policies, FDA does not seem to have targeted inspections based on product risk or past compliance performance. Firms’ compliance strategies seemed to be broadly in accord with the predictions of the theoretical model. The threat of inspection increased the likelihood of compliance, although the deterrent effect was statistically significant for sanitation standards but not for HACCP. Firms tend to persist in compliance status, especially with respect to sanitation standards. Contrary to FDA’s presupposition, however, HACCP compliance does not improve compliance with sanitation standards, suggesting that the two are not complementary.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2005.104.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.104
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  1. John M. Antle, 2000. "No Such Thing as a Free Safe Lunch: The Cost of Food Safety Regulation in the Meat Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 310-322.
  2. Mark Raymond, 2004. "Regulatory Compliance with Costly and Uncertain Litigation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 165-176, 09.
  3. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
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