Current And Future Implications

Many managerial frameworks are available to support risk analysis processes for chemical, biological, and physical hazards in food and water. The selection of any particular framework may be less important than commitment to the use of sound science in risk assessments and adherence to the principles and guidelines for risk analysis. For example, transparency of both risk assessment and risk management processes is essential for increasing the likelihood of a useful risk management strategy and for gaining public acceptance of the strategy. Complete documentation is critical to identify the points in the risk assessment at which policy decisions, assumptions, and extrapolations beyond the scientific data became inputs or constraints to the risk assessment model.

However, a crucial element needed to ensure effective risk analysis is an interested and active public. Risk analysis is ultimately a political process; the final responsibility for the quality of life in a society depends on a well-informed public. Thus this chapter has come full circle, in that the responsibility for ensuring safe food depends on individual commitment. The opening statement quoting Deuteronomy placed an obligation on every individual to take responsibility to remove hazards. If hazards were ignored, whether or not someone was injured, the individual was guilty of permitting a danger to exist. Each individual in society is obligated to become aware of and to participate in the deliberations about risk and its management. The rest of this book represents a modest beginning for this endeavor.

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