Sign of the times


The discovery of the Listeriosis bacteria in some meat products as a result of some yet-to-be-determined-number of deaths has sparked a number of recriminations, including lack of governance. Similar calls where heard as a result of the sub prime failure.

But are such accusations of poor governance are unfounded? Is the real issue who executes the governance: government through legislation and review or the public through their support of products in the market place? Those who are concerned about the role of government often recommend the latter mechanism.  Or is it a question of preventative measures vs. cure? Or is it that no system is perfect?

The cost of failure is high, 15 deaths so far and may be more [1]. It’s probably best therefore to make sure that the governance process is as transparent as possible and lacks any scent of conflict of interest. Handing over more responsibility to the producers might not be consistent with such objectives. For a market-driven approach to governance should Hammurabi’s code be enforced: for a death of a customer should not the company be put to the death? As we see from the sub prime, the opposite was the reality. 


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