July 7, 2009 10:06AM

A New Regulation I Can Support

Normally I would be happy to leave labelling decisions to retailers and manufacturers, but here’s a proposal for a new mandatory labelling scheme that I can get behind.


James Gibney, a reporter from the Atlantic, called me last week to ask some questions about dairy supports. He was preparing a blog post to propose a new labelling idea that might help break the frustrating stranglehold that the farm lobby has over U.S. agricultural policy. Here’s James’ idea:


To wit, every product whose ingredients benefit from a subsidy should include the following language on the label:

“This product has been subsidized by the U.S. government at taxpayer expense. For more information, please visit usda​.gov.”

And every product that benefits from tariff protection should have the following language on the label:

“This product is protected from foreign competition by U.S. import tariffs. Its price is higher as a result. For more information, please visit usitc​.gov.”

I like it. For more on Cato’s work on agricultural policy, see here and here.