One of the rallying cries of those statist fearmongerers who are busying themselves decrying the shutdown of the federal government concerns the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Warning against a shutdown, they suggest there'll be mean no inspection of the nation's food chain by the FDA and its agents.
"Omigosh! The nation's citizenry is imperiled" they blare through their megaphone, the Main Stream Media.
But, it should be asked: "Why are federal agents inspecting the nation's food chain in the first place?"
After all, let's not forget, one of the most successful food inspection systems is already in place and it's regulated by the private marketplace. The system is called "kosher food certification" and it's implemented by independent, private firms across the nation. Not only that, the "kosher" brand has proven itself to be extremely reliable. It complies not only with rigorous religious standards of food production, but also prevents deceptive marketing.
Those frequent outbreaks of foodborne illness and new food labels that misrepresent processed foods high in fat and/or sugar as "natural," "fresh" and "healthy" aren't the result of kosher food inspectors. No, they're the fault of government food inspectors and, yes, the inefficacy of industry self-regulators.
According to Timothy D. Lytton at the Albany Law School, the success of kosher food certification provides a model of independent, private certification that could improve food safety and labeling and perhaps eliminate the need for one, very expensive government regulatory apparatus. Private certification:
- offers greater technical expertise. Government regulators have less expertise than private certifiers in determining how the traditional laws of kosher observance apply to modern industrial food production.
- provides better inspection and monitoring coverage of regulated entities. For government regulators, inspection and monitoring strain agency budgets.
- provides more proactive, prospective regulation. Private kosher certifiers actively seek out problems before they affect consumers and set new policies to avoid trouble later.
- is more responsive to both regulated industries and consumers. Legislative and administrative rulemaking processes are slow, frequently taking years to produce results.
- is more efficient than government regulation. Competition among certifiers provides incentives to cut costs in order to keep their fees as low as possible while at the same time maintaining high standards in order to protect their brand value.
In short, a body of evidence indicates that reliable private certification meets the market demand for certification without succumbing to competitive pressures to cut corners, despite what the fearmongering statists assert.
Using kosher certification as a model, The Motley Monk is thinking, just consider how the federal government could be shrunk when it comes to regulating healthcare and the financial industry. Just thinking...
Let the discussion begin...
To read Timothy Lytton's article, click on the following link:
"Kosher Certification as a Model of Private Regulation"