Import security: Assessing the risks of imported food

We use data on food import violations from the FDA Operational and Administrative System for Import Support (OASIS) to address rising concerns associated with imported food, quantify import risks by product and by country of origin, and explore the usefulness of OASIS data for risk assessment. In particular, we assess whether there are significant trends in violations, whether import violations can be used to quantify risks by country and by product, and how import risks depend on economic factors of the country of origin. The results show that normalizing import violations by volume of imports provides a meaningful indicator of risk. We then use regression analysis to characterize import risks. Using this model, we analyze import risks by product type, violation type, and economic factors of the country of origin. We find that OASIS data are useful in quantifying food import risks, and that the rate of refusals provides a useful decision tool for risk management. Furthermore, we find that some economic factors are significant indicators of food import risk by country.

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