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Consumer willingness to pay for food safety health outcomes


<p>The overarching aim of this study was to assess whether it is feasible and desirable for the FSA to carry out a WTP study in order to elicit non-market costs associated with foodborne disease, chemical and radiological contamination, and allergens and whether it would produce reliable results to do this at the pathogen, disease or outcome specific level.</p>

<p>The specific research objectives were to:</p>
<p><ol><li>review and document current approaches for valuing social impacts resulting from food safety initiatives in various countries focusing particularly on estimation of non-market costs and benefits.</li>
<li>provide a critical review of estimated values of existing WTP studies with specific reference to foodborne disease, food related chemical contamination and radiological contamination, and allergens. Where relevant estimates for non-food related WTP measures are available, they should be included but given less emphasis in the assessment.</li>
<li>provide a critical review and appraisal of the methods available for the valuation of food safety outcomes – including stated preference, revealed preference, subjective wellbeing measures and any other experimental approaches; this should specifically refer to available literature on tried and tested measures for valuation of food safety related health outcomes where possible, and also include innovative solutions to estimation problems.</li>
<li>provide a comparative analysis of advantages and disadvantages of the key approaches and methodologies to estimate consumer WTP; this should consider specifically key issues for food safety WTP measures but should also consider the advantages and disadvantages of more novel or innovative approaches to estimation such as subjective wellbeing.</li></ol></p>

More information

<p>The FSA currently assesses non-market impacts associated with illness and fatalities for foodborne illness using a willingness to pay measure estimated in a study by the Department for Transport (DfT) dating back to 1991 for the value of prevention of a fatality. As a concept willingness to pay (WTP) is an appraisal of the maximum amount an individual is willing to sacrifice to receive a good or avoid something undesirable.</p>

<p>The FSA wished to determine if it would be feasible and would produce robust results, to estimate food safety specific WTP measures. By reviewing the evidence in this area, and building on existing research carried out in this field, it is possible that the FSA may be able to improve the robustness of its evidence base used in analytical support to: food safety policy appraisal, evaluation, the disease burden associated with foodborne illness, and risk assessment and analysis. </p>

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