The Fox Guarding the Hen House?

As we have often reported, food safety in the US is an issue of grave concern. If newspaper accounts are to be believed —, one of the greatest causes of concern should be the US’s voluntary safety/quality control system. Under this system, the “safety” and “quality” of the US system is checked not by an independent agency, but rather by auditors paid by the food companies themselves. The pressure on these auditors to inflate the grades given their clients is obvious and draws eerie parallels to the problems the ratings agencies played in the current financial crisis — The accuracy of the ratings is thus suspect. This only stands to reason since a fox guarding the hen house can never be a good thing. The problem is – in this age of bloated deficits and the call for government cutbacks, is there a better option? A question certain to cause many sleepless nights not only for insurers, but also consumers.

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