Current policies and programs affecting the supply of food are examined and options assessed for changes that would help generate a food supply consistent with the US population eating according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Potential policy and program changes are identified in three categories: eliminating existing domestic farm and trade program limitations on the US food supply; creating incentives or disincentives, such as taxes or subsidies, to produce foods consistent with the Dietary Guidelines; and influencing consumers directly to choose foods consistent with the Dietary Guidelines. Despite the trend toward liberalization, there remain a few changes in farm and trade policy that would increase consumption of under-consumed foods. Taxes and subsidies are difficult to apply without creating unintended adverse consequences, although removal of production input constraints may be effective. Strategies to influence consumer behavior have advantages over policies designed to affect supplies of foods. Rather than large program interventions, changes in consumer tastes and preferences would drive market forces to efficiently produce the needed food supply.
Food Policy – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 1999
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