How Food Regulations Make Us Less Healthy

Corn growers receive billions of dollars each year in subsidies from the U.S. government. The average American family pays $400 per year to subsidize corn. As a result, corn products and derivatives can be found in many items at American grocery stores. In the video, Professor Daniel J. D’Amico discusses how farm subsidies and other food regulations affect what Americans buy and eat.

Regulations can also act as barriers to entry for smaller growers. For example, requirements for marketing food sold in the United States as “organic” are strenuous. While we may think this means the consumer is better protected from unscrupulous farmers, Prof. D’Amico shows how they form barriers to entry for small farmers. The paperwork and other costs associated with complying with the regulations for organic produce may prove too expensive and time consuming for the small farmer. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to find organic produce locally.

Instead of allowing government to regulate and subsidize specific food types or farmers, Prof. D’Amico recommends a freer market. There are too many unintended consequences of food regulations and subsidies, such as price distortion and unfair competition between members of the same industry. A market without these distortions would allow consumers to buy less expensive, healthier food.

11 Comments

  1. andrei.roibu

    This is in perfect accordance with that theory which says that each government action has an intended effect and countless more non intended effects. If government would give more liberty to small farmers, which are settled around a local community, than that community would enjoy better produce. However, let us not forget that many politicians have business in agriculture and big farms, so, it would be in their interest that small time farmers be discouraged. 

  2. Tim Eagle

    Big corn wouldn’t exist in anywhere near the style it does today 🙂 It’s presence and strength come from the artificially supported market the regulations have created. Which then makes the corn syrup/fructose/sugar product significantly cheaper than it should be, meaning other food products incorporate the product with less consideration for the costs and then supply to the retail market for the consumers to gobble up. The fact that sugar is so addictive leads to further enthusiastic consumption and further regulated market growth.  Not to mention the rise of health related issues like diabetes and the like…and the misallocation of capital for healthier foods that haven’t risen in its place….who would have thought regulation of corn could cause such far reaching problems.

  3. gab912

    That’s why it’s called Food & Drug Administration. We eat food that makes us sick which in turn causes us to buy medicine(drugs)…

  4. minaobe

    You could introduce them to the sight by starting off with some of the education videos, I am a student and I know that many of my classmates would agree with Learn Liberty’s views on education.

  5. minaobe

    Absolutely, competition is good for the market but not the food market. We need to realize the difference between various market, realize that they all need to be run differently.

  6. asexymind

    But it feels so good to tell others what they ought and ought not do – and put police behind it! I mean, if I started examining the unintended consequences of every policy, that would bum my power trip – I would end up as some nutty libertarian. 😉

  7. kevinbuttrum

    Thank God that Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, was defeated. They were going to actually ban home gardens, and small farms.

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