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Application of the De Minimis Concept in Risk Management

  • Chris Whipple
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Risk Analysis book series (CIRA, volume 2)

Abstract

In risk regulation and management, de minimis refers to the general theme that some risks are too small to be of societal concern. It is easy to show that all organizations with risk management responsibilities use some type of de minimis approach, since risk management resources are always finite, and the supply of very small risks virtually inexhaustible. To cite just one example, the prohibition of carcinogenic food additives under both the Delaney Clause and earlier food safety laws is commonly cited as a “zero risk” policy statement that is as protective as any risk policy on the federal level. Even so, no serious consideration has ever been given to the idea that the Food and Drug Administration should ban food additives that contain a radioactive molecule or two, since that would include virtually all substances. While all organizations with risk management responsibility follow some pragmatic de minimis approach, there has been a series of proposals (see Chapter 13 and Davis1 for a general review of the issue) for explicit adoption of the de minimis concept by regulatory agencies.

Keywords

Risk Management Individual Risk Small Risk Risk Regulation Risk Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Whipple
    • 1
  1. 1.Energy Study CenterElectric Power Research InstitutePalo AltoUSA

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