The Federal Government Should Stop Limiting the Sale of Certain Fruits and Vegetables
Congress should eliminate marketing orders altogether. At a minimum, Congress should amend the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 to prohibit volume controls of any kind. Further, the appropriations process should be used to deny funds for the implementation of any marketing order that has volume controls. Industry participants covered in almost all of the existing marketing orders (26 of the 28) would not be affected today if volume controls were prohibited. Farmers should be able to grow and sell fruits and vegetables without fear that they could be breaking the law as developed by an industry cartel. Agricultural policy is dominated by policies that divorce farmers and ranchers from the free market and encourage or require them to respond to a government program or regulation. Marketing orders are a perfect example of farmers focusing on government intervention instead of the market. By eliminating volume controls, Congress can take one step toward allowing farmers to grow and sell legal products as they deem fit, while respecting consumers in the process.