The US government regulates the trade of agricultural products under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, which gave the federal government authority to set prices and other conditions for 30 vegetables, fruits, dairy products and other agricultural items. The stated intention of the act was to ensure fair trading practices, but critics of the regulations claim it drives prices higher for consumers. For example, each year, a government agency known as the Raisin Administrative Board confiscates portions of raisin farmers’ crops in order to control the market supply. In 2013, some US raisin farmers questioned the constitutionality of the government confiscating their crops without paying them, and the issue was taken to the Supreme Court.
More about US agricultural products:
- In 1986, the cherry industry’s administrative board was disbanded, but it was voluntarily reinstated at the request of cherry farmers in 1996 after prices dropped to historic lows because of overly high supplies.
- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has concluded that US regulations on dairy increase milk prices by more than 25% for consumers.
- The US sugar supply is regulated in that 54% must be produced as beet sugar and 46% as cane sugar.