Costs and Benefits
The baseline estimate for preventing all illnesses associated with microbial contamination of produce covered by this proposed regulation is $1.6 billion; however, we do not expect that we will eliminate all illnesses associated with covered produce. Instead, we expect that the proposed produce safety regulation will prevent some portion of this illness burden from recurring. We estimate the number of foodborne illness prevented by this regulation to be 1.75 million, with an associated benefit of $1.04 billion, annually. As described in the Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis (PRIA), making a precise estimate of the rule’s likely effectiveness is extremely difficult, because FDA has only limited data that would establish a clear baseline estimate of how contamination occurs and the likely impact of the proposed provisions on that baseline, with respect to causing human illness. We estimate the costs of the proposed rule to be $459.56 million annually for domestic farms, $170.62 million annually for foreign farms covered by the rule (for a grand total of $630.18 million annually), resulting in $406.22 million annually in estimated potential net benefits.