A Default-Logic Model of Factfinding for United States Regulation of Food Safety

A Default-Logic Model of Factfinding for United States Regulation of Food Safety, Vern R. Walker. Chapter in Uncertain Risks Regulated (Ellen Vos and Michelle Everson, Editors; Routledge-Cavendish Publishing, 2008).

From the Introduction:

An important question about safety regulation is how different regulatory systems shape the relationship between law and science, and how they influence the public confidence in science-based decision-making. Different process rules might impose different constraints on scientists, and different substantive rules will pose different questions to scientific researchers. What is needed for comparative work in this area of law is a conceptual model that is generic enough to analyze the relationship between risk assessment and risk management in multiple jurisdictions. This paper introduces such a model, and uses it to analyze the regulation of food safety in the United States. The first part of the paper describes the functional elements of a default-logic model for factfinding. The second part applies the model to food safety regulation in the United States, with particular attention to the distinction between risk assessment and risk management. The last part summarizes a number of major conclusions from that analysis, with particular attention to issues that might arise across jurisdictions.

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