FIGURE 4-3 Hypothetical graph depicting the expected loss from competing risks, individually and combined. This graph could apply to a substance that poses a risk of adverse health effects if intake is low and of toxic effects if intake is high.

SOURCE: Richard A. Forshee, Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy, University of Maryland.

and benefits, one can improve approaches to regulatory policy, dietary guidance, and the public health.


Moderator: Karl R. Matthews

Any risk assessment involves a challenge in balancing the need for a parsimonious model that can be explained readily against a comprehensive model that includes all the possible risks and alternatives. It was noted, for example, that changing the intake of one dietary component is likely to change the intake of other components as well; a model that did not take this into account might be simpler but less informative. As another example, focusing solely on V. parahaemolyticus in oysters may be insufficient if there is also a risk of norovirus infection. Dr. Forshee mentioned Einstein’s view that one’s model needs to be as simple as possible but as complex as necessary to address the question.

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