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Advancing Consumer Protection through Smart Food Safety Regulation

Norbert Hirschauer, Miroslava Bavorová

The reduction of food risks that are caused by malpractice requires a reconstructing understanding of the context-dependent behaviours of food businesses and a corresponding design of adequate governance structures. Concerning ourselves with consumer protection, we focus on the question of which behavioural drivers need to be considered when designing “smart” regulatory regimes that effectively and cost-efficiently foster compliance with food quality and safety rules. Doing so, we link the concept of smart regulation with the concept of risk analysis according toGeneral Food Law1.While a systematic comparison of the smartness of concrete consumer protection policies is beyond the paper’s scope, we briefly discuss disclosure policies for two reasons: first, name-and-shame schemes are increasingly used by food authorities in various countries. Second, they seemto be promising candidates for smart consumer protection policies from a regulatory theory point of view as food markets are riddled with information asymmetries.


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