I listen to NPR news on the way to work each morning, and a couple of weeks ago, one of the guests was the editor of a major medical magazine (I cannot remember his name or the magazine) which was "turning 100 years old." He was being asked about the concerns of doctors and medical issues in general 100 years ago, and one of the big stories from 1910 was the fact that there were issues with sellers taking the rotten eggs that they couldn't sell to people at the market, and instead selling them to bakers, who were using them to bake cakes. Needless to say, people who ate these cakes were getting sick, and some even died; but, because of the lack of good health care 100 years ago, they couldn't prove what actually caused the sicknesses and death.
Thus, one of the first "government-sponsored food safety regulations" was born. Lately, I have been hearing a lot about increasing food safety regulation, which will most likely lead to higher food prices, more government intervention, red tape and inefficiency. However, without these regulations, I wonder what kinds of "scams" these companies would pull to try to "get away" with things which would be morally wrong (selling rotten eggs to bakers) but not necessarily "illegal."
I have said this 1,000 times, but I feel as though without some form of regulation, the powerful will ALWAYS take every advantage they can over the weak. It just seems to me that this is human nature. So, if the government is not the right mechanism to drive regulations such as food safety, and we KNOW we cannot trust the industry to monitor itself, how would a Libertarian address such an issue?