A cross-disciplinary approach to risk analysis in public policy: with applications to food and agricultural policy, food safety, and affirmative action

The paper develops a framework to understand the risk trade-offs involved in public policy making. The concepts from statistical hypothesis testing are utilized to assess the risks involved as well as the concept of zero tolerance. It is intended for use by public policy makers, the general citizenry, and students tobetter understand the risk tradeoff. Examples from drug testing, pesticide residue, the greenhouse effect, affirmative action, and project analysis are employed to illustrate cross-disciplinary nature of the framework. It concludes with a food safety case.