Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Co-regulation as a possible model for food safety governance - opportunities for public-private partnerships - M.G. Martinez, A. Fearne, J.A. Caswell, S. Henson

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Public concern about food safety is placing increasing pressure on government agencies to be more prescriptive and proactive in their regulation of the food industry. However, given the scarcity of public sector resources, concerns about the impact of regulation on competitiveness and the scale of the task at hand, there is growing interest in co-regulation, with public and private sectors working hand-in-hand to deliver safer food at lower (regulatory) cost. This paper explores the scope for the co-regulation of food safety in the UK and North America, where there are distinct differences in the established regulatory processes. The authors conclude that opportunities clearly exist, to varying degrees in the different countries analysed, but that considerable obstacles remain to the widespread adoption of co-regulatory practices in the area of food safety.
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