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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli O157:H7 costs $478,381,766 per year in illnesses and Salmonella costs $2,649,413,401, and that is just two of dozens of bugs that sicken and kill us

I love Economists.  Actually, one of my three BA’s was in Economics.  When you look at the cost of just two bugs that the Economic Research Service (ERS) looked at, you have to wonder why we do not demand more from the corporations who feed us and the government that is supposed to regulate them?

The Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates of the costs of illness and premature death for a number of foodborne illnesses have been used in regulatory cost-benefit and impact analyses. Like all cost estimates, the ERS estimates include assumptions about disease incidence, outcome severity, and the level of medical, productivity, and disutility costs. Changes to any of these assumptions could change the cost estimates and, as a result, change the way policymakers rank risks, prioritize spending, and formulate food safety policies.

The Foodborne Illness Cost Calculator provides information on the assumptions behind foodborne illness cost estimates—and gives you a chance to make your own assumptions and calculate your own cost estimates. Link here.  For information on the bugs they missed, visit www.foodborneillness.com.

  • Doc Mudd

    Wow, sure is expensive to die prematurely in America! Makes the health care costs look like walking-around money.

  • Paul Nunes

    These numbers blew my mind. I wonder if a comparison to other health and safety risks might sharpen the message.
    What are the associated costs re heart attacks? Breast cancer? Prostate cancer? Skin cancer? Car accidents caused by drunk drivers? We organize and contribute to not-for-profit organizations which work to lower these risks. We even lobby our politicians to pass legislation to address these risks (e.g. drunk driving laws). Why is food safety not a top agenda item?