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Oversight in private food safety auditing: addressing auditor conflict of interest

Court Gavel and Documents

Timothy D. Lytton and Lesley K. McAllister write in the 2014 Wisconsin Law Review 289, that private auditing is a significant component of food safety regulation. Typically, manufacturers, retail sellers, and food-service operators require their suppliers to obtain food safety certification from a private third-party auditor paid by the supplier. Auditors’ financial interest in acquiring accounts from suppliers who want the cheapest certification that they can obtain gives auditors incentive to reduce the rigor of audits. This constitutes a conflict of interest between the auditor’s private financial interest and its professional obligation to protect the public from food safety risks. Audit industry insiders and outside observers are well aware of this problem, and various institutional actors — both public and private — have developed oversight mechanisms to address it.

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Source: http://barfblog.com Written by Doug Powell.

Court Gavel by Jonathunder 2008 Some rights reserved (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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