December 3, 2008 | White Paper on Agriculture
The law of unintended consequences holds that even well intentioned policies can have adverse effects. Just as U.S. farm policy may have helped American farmers become the most productive cultivators on the planet and contributed to low food prices across the country, America's system of crop subsidies also may be contributing to poor health. Ninety-percent of all subsidies support just five crops (Markheim and Riedl, 2007). By artificially lowering the price of certain foods in the marketplace, subsidies have encouraged excessive consumption of these foods and have changed the way Americans eat. Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident than with corn and corn-based products, such as the now ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).