Food & Health

Food & Health


Sherzod Abdukadirov | Jun 03, 2013
This study examines how risk trade-offs undermine safety regulations. Safety regulations often come with unintended consequences in that regulations attempting to reduce risk in one area may increase risks elsewhere.
John Leeth, Nathan Hale | Apr 23, 2013
Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) to create a safer working environment. The Act created two federal agencies: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which establishes and enforces workplace safety and health standards, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which researches the causes and remedies of occupational injuries and illnesses. OSHA is the fourth pillar of the US safety policy system, the others being the legal system, state workers’ compensation insurance programs, and the labor market.
John Leeth | Dec 10, 2012
When OSHA was established, proponents believed it would dramatically improve the safety and health of American workers. During the forty years of its existence, workplace fatalities and nonfatal injuries and illnesses have fallen but OSHA is not the major cause of this decline. Changes in the industrial mix of workers and improvements in safety technology have combined with expanded employer incentives unrelated to OSHA to decrease worker injuries and illnesses. The financial incentives for employers to expand expenditures on worker safety and health created by the labor market, states' workers' compensation insurance programs, and the legal system swamp the meager incentives created by OSHA.
John Leeth | Nov 13, 2012
This paper examines OSHA in light of the other forces affecting workplace safety in the United States to generate a set of policy recommendations for how it can best use its limited resources to improve worker safety and health. No evidence exists that expanding the total number of inspections or the average amount of fines for noncompliance would improve its effectiveness significantly.
Omar Ahmad Al-Ubaydli, Patrick McLaughlin | Oct 15, 2012
RegData is a new database that quantifies federal regulation. RegData offers a novel and objective measure of the accumulation of regulations in the economy overall and for all the different industries in the U.S. RegData uses text analysis to count the number of binding constraints in the text of federal regulations, which are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). In addition, it measures the degree to which different groups of regulations target specific industries.
Jerry Ellig, James Broughel | Jun 22, 2012
This Mercatus on Policy explores the importance of baselines in assessing the benefits and costs of federal regulations.

Testimony & Comments

Todd Nesbit | Mar 04, 2014
It is not clear based on the FDA’s analysis whether its proposed rule is in the best interest of society. FDA makes no attempt to estimate the benefits of the regulation, and the analysis of the costs is very likely biased downward due to questionable assumptions and omissions. Further, changes of behavior are only selectively considered—discussing them when logically leading to benefits but dismissing the costs associated with those changes in behavior.
Richard Williams | Jun 20, 2011
This comment analyzes the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s proposed rule concerning mandatory inspection of catfish and catfish products.
Richard Williams | Jun 09, 2009
In this Public Interest Comment, Managing Director of the Regulatory Studies Program Richard Williams suggests that the benefit/risk approach is the best method to assess the risk of methyl mercury…
Todd Zywicki | Dec 21, 2006
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is preparing to create a report on food industry marketing activities and expenditures targeted to children and adolescents. The report is meant to analyze the…
| Jun 29, 2004
This comment analyzes the EPA's proposal to regulate mercury emissions from coal-fired power…
Jerry Ellig | Apr 05, 2004
This comment analyzes the FTC's proposed rule to implement the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers…

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Speeches & Presentations

Mercatus Regulatory Studies


Before approving medical drugs sold on the market, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires companies to demonstrate that the drug meets basic standards of safety and effectiveness. This is a high bar to pass, and Americans expect that officials at the FDA will use sound judgment in deciding which drugs get approved, since these decisions will have profound effects on the health and well-being of the American people.



Hester Peirce | February 21, 2013
Hester Peirce discusses how regulations bring laws to life at this Regulation University event.

Recent Events

Please join the Mercatus Center at George Mason University for the first of a two-part series reviewing the basic features of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and related amendments and how regulatory flexibility analysis is intended to work in the context of federal rulemaking.


Media Clippings

Keith Hall | Aug 08, 2013
Keith Hall, a researcher at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, finds that nearly all jobs created in the past few months have been part-time gigs.
Keith Hall | Aug 07, 2013
Moody’s Mark Zandi and the Mercatus Center’s Keith Hall, have suggested that the law’s effects can be seen in recent jobs data, after a few months of high part-time job creation.
Jerry Ellig | Jul 30, 2013
Jerry Ellig discusses White House efforts to shape behavior…
Tyler Cowen, Alexander Tabarrok | Jun 12, 2013
His goal is to put online in the next 5 to 10 years an entire series of courses that cover the basic sweep of his field.
Donald J. Boudreaux | Jun 27, 2012
Don Boudreaux explains how industrial capitalism has been the greatest anti-pollutant.
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