Petty support

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The United Sates Department of Agriculture plans to announce that it will spend $52 million to support local and regional food systems – like farmers’ markets and food hubs – and to spur research on organic farming.

Internationally, demand for organic food has been one of the fastest growing segments of the industry, as consumers seek to know more about where, how and by whom their food is grown.

In the UK for example, sales in the organic market rose by 3.4% for the four weeks leading up to August 16, compared to a fall of 0.9% in the pesticide-based market.

The $52 million (which represents only 0.03% of the total USDA budget) are out of place and do not reflect the market’s demand for safe and healthy products. Next year’s projected budget is $140 billion. Government support should reflect taxpayer’s wishes, otherwise it is a total market failure. Maybe something to reflect on before projecting next year’s budget.

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