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Month: June 2023

Laisser le choix aux consommateurs et miser sur l’innovation pour assurer le développement économique de l’UE

Si le principe de précaution est louable dans son principe, il semble aujourd’hui dévoyé de son ambition première. De fait, par des précautions excessives, un abus réglementaire et parfois une forme de populisme, le Vieux Continent est aujourd’hui en retard dans bien des domaines. Et si laisser le choix aux consommateurs était la solution ?

Un principe louable qui a perdu son objectif

A l’origine, le principe de précaution visait avant tout à protéger consommateurs et citoyens d’évolutions aux conséquences inconnues et potentiellement dangereuses. Las, depuis des années il semble avoir perdu sa boussole, et d’un principe de précaution nous sommes passés à un excès de précaution, contreproductif et, à bien des égards, infantilisant. Ainsi, alors que l’IA s’annonce comme un enjeu stratégique du monde de demain et qu’Américains et Chinois investissent massivement dans le développement de cette technologie, le rapport de 12 pages de l’UE à ce sujet liste 11 pages de risques pour une seule d’opportunités. Cet exemple pourrait également se décliner pour le génie génétique, alors que les agriculteurs européens perdent chaque année des parts de marché, devenant entièrement dépendants d’aides pour survivre, et que nous devrons dans quelques décennies nourrir plus de 8 milliards d’humains ─ ce qui sera impossible sans recourir aux OGM.

La question cruciale du choix

Ceci pose la question du risque et du hasard. A partir de quelle probabilité peut-on acter qu’il s’agit d’un risque, et non d’un hasard ? Une des préoccupations principales de l’Agence pour le Choix du Consommateur est la question – et la gestion – des risques. Une grande majorité des réglementations actuelles se réfèrent aux comportements à hauts risques des consommateurs : une consommation bénigne d’alcool n’implique pas un risque de maladie, au contraire d’une consommation excessive. Un autre exemple est la controverse autour de la cigarette électronique : bien entendu, ne pas fumer est préférable en termes de santé. Toutefois, les dommages potentiels du vapotage sont bien moindres que ceux de la cigarette, et ne pas en restreindre l’usage offre une alternative moins dangereuse aux consommateurs. Il s’avère hélas que les régulateurs ne comprennent pas suffisamment la différence scientifique entre « hasard » et « risque », même si certains signes vont aujourd’hui dans le bon sens.

Il nous apparaît donc comme hautement préférable, pour le développement de l’économie européenne, de laisser le choix aux consommateurs, qui arbitreront cette question de la pertinence des innovations par l’intermédiaire de la concurrence et du marché. Certes, il sera facile d’objecter la question de l’information complète, et du poids de certains intérêts. Toutefois, ce serait oublier que ces fameux intérêts vont dans les deux sens, comme chaque médaille a, nécessairement, son revers. Mais laisser les consommateurs, qui sont aussi des citoyens, faire leurs choix n’est-il pas le propre de la démocratie ? C’est ce dont nous restons convaincus, et ce pour quoi nous luttons chaque jour.

Verbatim : « L’innovation et la liberté des consommateurs sont les meilleurs leviers pour le développement de l’Europe »

Originally published here

Pool-sharing is the latest target of regulators trying to shut down the sharing economy 

Summer is coming. For Americans looking to beat the heat, have some fun and take a swim, new options are becoming available thanks to innovations in the sharing economy. Most people have heard of Airbnb by now, a service that allows users to find a place to stay in a privately-owned residence. Now you can do the same thing for pools, thanks to apps like Swimply. If you don’t have your own backyard pool or can’t shell out on average $500 per season to access a private community pool, Swimply makes it infinitely more affordable for families and individuals by allowing them to connect with a homeowner who rents out their pool on an hourly basis. 

Rates average between $45 to $75 on Swimply. Not a bad deal if you’re just looking to host a one-off event or have a few poolside relaxation days each year. 

Whether it’s a work-from-home father who needs to get the kids out of the house on a warm day or a busy mom planning to host friends and family for a graduation party, Swimply adds private pools, hot tubs, private tennis, and pickleball courts to their list of choices for entertaining. There’s even been new innovation in the sharing of backyards so that dogs can have more off-leash playtime and exercise, thanks to an app called Sniffspot. Anyone with a dog and experience with public dog parks knows the incredible risk, as well as the benefits, of visiting a packed-out dog park. Starting this year, Uber will support peer-to-peer car-sharing, unlocking new value for car owners who might want to loan their car out when it’s not in use. 

These are exciting new services for consumers. 

So naturally, killjoys are making their move to regulate these services out of existence and eliminate choices for individuals looking to access pools and greenspace. The debate over Swimply has gotten particularly hot in one of the wealthiest counties in America, the D.C. suburb of Montgomery County, Maryland, where a handful of residents are complaining of additional traffic and noise in their neighborhoods.  

Montgomery County councilmember Will Jawando has already put forward a bill requiring registration of backyard pools that are being rented out, along with additional taxes plus a $150 licensing fee. If the county follows the lead of other localities frustrated with pool-sharing, they’ll saddle homeowners with the same health code regulations faced by public pools, enforced by local health code departments. 

What’s at issue here is not new in the slightest, thanks in large part to Airbnb’s success in advancing the common sense idea that homeowners maintain the right to earn additional monthly income by sharing their property with others, if they so choose. One Swimply user who spoke to WUSA 9 in Washington, D.C. spoke of how her husband had to close his business during COVID. The pool-sharing app allowed them to make up some of that lost income to weather the pandemic. 

Regardless of whether or not there’s a crisis, consumers should have a right to communicate with other members of their community and offer compensation for using private property. No one bats an eye at benevolent homeowners sharing their space regularly with friends and acquaintances. We’ve all been the beneficiary, at some point, of the kindness of a friend who was willing to share access to their vacation home or pool. Why shouldn’t that person also be free to secure supplemental income with that property as well? 

Whereas Airbnb and Uber had very clear opponents in established industries, such as the $4B hospitality sector and that of taxi cabs, the calls to crack down on Swimply appear to be plain old NIMBYism wrapped in rhetoric about public safety. NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) have a knack for reframing their hostility to choice as that of a safety concern. In Business Insider, one resident speaking against Swimply said, “I have nothing against these individuals fortunate enough to be able to pay $60 and up an hour to use a private pool, but this activity has greatly compromised our neighborhood. It is a tremendous nuisance.” She goes on to argue that these apps are unsafe for paying guests who don’t follow safety guidelines.

It’s understandable to have concerns about a steady influx of strangers next door, but hiding behind the worry that someone’s guests may dive in the 4-foot deep section of a private pool is hardly the business of neighbors or regulators. Insurance markets will almost certainly have something to say about pool-sharing, as is their prerogative. 

Pool-sharing is just the latest addition to the growing network of peer-to-peer services that brought so much flexibility, fun and adventure to the modern economy. It certainly won’t be the last. When it comes to the sharing economy, more is always better, and the availability of various services ensures consumers always have plenty of choices wherever they go, and whatever they’re doing.

The ‘Save Our Gas Stoves Act’ is about protecting your consumer choice in the kitchen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Save Our Gas Stoves Act (H.R. 1640), a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) and co-sponsored by 63 of her colleagues, standing in support of consumer choice on household cooking appliances. 

The bill would prohibit the Department of Energy from adopting recently proposed rules that would limit what fuel sources consumers can choose from for their cooking implements, with the intended effect of gradually removing gas stoves from the market.

“People know the risks of gas stoves and the cost-benefit analysis that comes with purchasing one. The purpose of having a variety of stoves is to offer users — professional chefs and home cooks alike — the option that fits best with their lifestyle and budget,” said Stephen Kent, spokesman for the Consumer Choice Center. “Rather than policing how we cook our eggs, agencies in Washington should focus on meaningful reforms that would help lower energy costs to spread savings to consumers.”

Recent studies reported by CBS News show that Americans spend at least 400 hours per year in the kitchen. That’s roughly 22,800 hours in the span of an average adult life cooking for yourself. 950 days worth of time spent in the kitchen — close to three years. That time spent in the kitchen should be as fulfilling as possible. 

“The idea behind the Save Our Stoves Act is simple. If legislators want to ban gas stoves and limit consumer choice on cooktops, they’ll have to put their name on it instead of passing the buck to unelected and unaccountable officials at the Department of Energy,” added Kent, “Support of the Save Our Stoves Act sends a message that the DOE has overstepped its authority in attempting to limit the lifestyle choices of consumers in the privacy of their own homes.” 

 ***CCC’s Stephen Kent is available to speak with media contacts on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send inquiries to stephen@consumerchoicecenter.org***

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva, and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

EU Commissions’ proposed ban on coffee capsules is bad for consumers and the environment 

When deciding on the environmental impact of a product we should look at more than just the immediate waste it produces. Products have a life cycle that includes a wide range of aspects spanning over, among others, cultivation and raw materials, energy consumption intensity, transportation, and recycling possibilities. Any approach focusing on one aspect and ignoring others would be burdened with staggering flaws as it would lead to information shortages and consequently to biased views and wrong conclusions.

Case in point is the packaging regulation drafted by the EU Commission for coffee capsules (commonly referred to as coffee pods). Under the amended Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, plastic and aluminum coffee pods are set to be banned. The proposed regulation concentrates on the consequences of throwing away capsules as the prime justification for removing them from the market. In doing so, however, it neglects all other aspects related to the environment. It thus fails to realize that the alternatives to pods are far worse. 

To understand why, think about the concrete steps involved in making coffee. As every connoisseur knows, selecting the quantity and quality of coffee can be a tricky process. In economic terms, manual preparation involves subjective estimations of the amount of dry coffee needed for one cup. These judgments are often erroneous, meaning people use a larger amount than is actually needed, thus resulting in the overconsumption of raw materials. Preparing to brew can be costly too, since overheating water also consumes a large amount of energy. Each such misstep is like a leak in the value chain causing some material that could have otherwise been used elsewhere to be wasted. These errors are amplified as reliance on the human factor in coffee preparation increases: being a barista (especially your own barista) is an approximate art rather than an exact science.

Real evidence confirms the insights of economic theory. A 2017 paper examined various types of coffee preparation methods and concluded that the common belief around coffee capsules being major pollutants is a major misconception. On the contrary, the pods turned out to be the most environmentally friendly option compared to alternatives like the conventional drip filter. Another study conducted in Switzerland by Quantis (a leading consulting firm specialized in sustainability) and commissioned by Nespresso found that coffee capsules’ impact on the environment (measured by CO2 footprint in multiple stages) is less than that of other coffee preparation methods inspected in the study such as drip filter, the moka (Italian) coffee maker, and fully automated options.

It’s obvious to see how coffee capsules are better than their counterparts. Because they come in strict sizes, they optimize the amounts of dry ingredients and energy consumption used and minimize the leakages triggered by mistakes and overheating. 

If the EU Commission truly cares about consumer well-being and pollution, it should therefore drop the proposed regulations on coffee pods and respect people’s various preferences in coffee. Consumer choice is, as always, the best course of action.

This blog post was written by the CCC intern Amjad Aun.

Hold The Line on FDA Appropriations In Defense of Consumers

Dear House Appropriations Committee Members,

As an advocacy group engaged in work to protect and defend consumer choice, we urge you to keep in place Sections 768-769 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. These sections refer to limiting the funding of several rules issued by the Food & Drug Administration to ban entire flavored categories of various tobacco and nicotine products without any reference to safer alternatives that save lives.

Over the past year, the FDA held exhaustive hearings and consultations on these provisions, which we did participate in and opposed at the time. Despite protests from consumers and civil society groups, they were implemented regardless.

By keeping these funding restrictions in the bill, you can support consumers making their own product choices, while preserving safer nicotine alternatives and avoiding the negative repercussions that would follow from product prohibition.

It is vitally important that the House Appropriations Committee pursue an actionable plan for incorporating harm reduction and reduced-risk nicotine alternatives in policy and at the FDA, rather than shortsighted bans that threaten to boost illicit markets.

If the agency  is serious about reducing smoking in our country, then the answer must center on harm reduction in all aspects, rather than ratcheting up bans and restrictions that will cause more harm.

Please keep these provisions in place and continue to stand tall in defense of consumer choice for your constituents. 

Sincerely Yours,

Yaël Ossowski

Deputy Director

Consumer Choice Center

(PDF version available here)

Some tips for graduates on getting their first job 

A paycheck can be a powerful tool for those who know how to manage it properly – particularly in today’s state of economic uncertainty. But for those who recently secured their first full-time position post-graduation and are feeling uncertain as to where to start when it comes to maximizing their incoming income, here are a few tips for getting started.

First and foremost, it is good practice to think of your earnings as needing to fill three separate buckets. One for savings, one for spending, and one for living. This is where the 50/30/20 rule comes into play. The 50/30/20 rule is a simple and straightforward budgeting strategy that can be applied to your earnings right away. Essentially, this rule claims that half of your after-tax earnings (50%) should be allocated for needs and living expenses, while the other half should cover wants-related expenditures (30%) along with savings and investments (20%).

Although following the 50/30/20 rule sounds easy enough, keeping your savings secure and purchases purposeful does require deliberate decision-making and dedication.

Read the full text here

Why We Need Acquisitions and Why Khan’s Concerns are Bad for Business

Namesakes of the 90s are seeing better days as Bed Bath & Beyond and David’s Bridal file for bankruptcy, joining the likes of Blockbuster and RadioShack. Each of these big box stores were big business in their heyday, and serve as a reminder that even the best can go bust in a dynamic marketplace.

Incumbent firms are prone to fall victim to the replacement effect, whereas opportunities for innovations are deemphasized so as to maintain the status quo. A great example of this is Kodak’s reluctance to embrace digital photography.

For firms to have staying power, they must be alert to changing market needs and pivot according to changing realities. Sometimes this can be done through the scaling of assets and resources by means of a merger. A current example of this is the proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger, which aims to create a premier omnichannel sales network for not only groceries but also healthcare and pharmaceutical needs. Through the joining of existing retail units, the merger would establish a national footprint for Kroger and enable it to capitalize on the growing trend of retail media marketing as well as compete with industry giants like Walmart and Costco. 

Accordingly, one might think the FTC would welcome the merger, given that Walmart has long been lambasted for its behemoth status without a worthy adversary when it comes to sales of groceries. Yet the FTC is reluctant to allow the transaction.

Currently, the FTC is ramping up its review of all things merger and acquisition related, including even past deals – to the dismay of Big Tech firms. 

Read the full text here

New GEG Bill Is Too PROHIBITIVE And NEEDS Further Review

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 th May 2023 – Consumer Choice Center (CCC) urges the Government to reconsider its decision to table the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill 2022 which includes a generation endgame policy (GEG) in the upcoming Parliament session as further scrutinisation needs to be conducted on this matter that involves consumer preferences. 

GEG too harsh on vendors

Representative of the Malaysian Consumer Choice Center, Tarmizi Anuwar, said: “It is time for the government to stop dictating consumers on what can be done and what cannot be done. All consumers have a fundamental interest in defending personal and civic freedoms. Therefore, they should be given a personal choice to decide what works for them without excessive intervention.” 

“In addition, what consumers need are smart regulations that can protect them rather than restrict them because problems like smoking and vaping are multifaceted.”

Read the full text here 

Pentingnya Reformasi Regulasi Perlindungan Hak Kekayaan Intelektual di Tengah Perkembangan Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI), atau kecerdasan buatan, saat ini merupakan salah satu sektor teknologi yang mengalami perkembangan yang sangat pesat. Saat ini, AI menjadi bagian yang tidak bisa dipisahkan dari keseharian jutaan orang di seluruh dunia, termasuk juga di Indonesia.

Misalnya, salah satu layanan berbasis AI yang saat ini berkembang sangat pesat dan digandrungi oleh jutaan orang di seluruh dunia adalah ChatGPT. Layanan chatbot AI yang dikembangkan oleh perusahaan teknologi asal Amerika Serikat, OpenAI, ini, memberikan fasilitas untuk membantu banyak pekerjaan dan kegiatan kita sehari-hari, mulai dari mencari sumber referensi untuk penelitian, hingga membantu menuliskan kode untuk menjalankan program komputer tertentu.

Tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa, seiring berjalannya waktu, peran AI dalam kehidupan sehari-hari kian penting dan krusial. Dengan menggunakan berbagai layanan berbasis kecerdasan buatan, jutaan orang bisa melakukan pekerjaan mereka dengan lebih efisien, dan lebih menghemat waktu dan tenaga.

Namun, di sisi lain, sebagaimana perkembangan teknologi yang sudah dialami oleh manusia pada dekade sebelumnya, perkembangan AI yang semakin pesat juga membawa dampak negatif dan menimbulkan kritik dari beberapa pihak. Salah satunya adalah, tindakan kriminal seperti pembajakan karya bisa semakin mudah dilakukan.

Beberapa waktu lalu misalnya, di Amerika Serikat, sebagian seniman mengajukan gugatan terhadap beberapa layanan seni daring, seperti DeviantArt dan Midjourney. Gugatan tersebut dilayangkan dengan dasar bahwa layanan tersebut melakukan hal yang dianggap bentuk pelanggaran terhadap kekayaan intelektual yang dimiliki oleh para seniman tersebut (tfr.news, 16/1/2023).

Dalam gugatan tersebut, para perusahaan layanan daring tersebut dianggap telah melakukan pelanggaran hak kekayaan intelektual dengan mengumpulkan gambar-gambar (image generating) secara daring yang dibuat oleh para seniman tanpa izin pembuatnya. Tidak sedikit pula, gambar-gambar yang dikumpulkan oleh penyedia layanan daring tersebut bahkan sudah memiliki hak cipta yang didaftarkan.

Hal ini tentu merupakan hal yang sangat penting untuk diselesaikan. Bila tidak ada payung hukum yang dapat melindungi para pekerja kreatif dan inovator atas karya yang mereka buat dan kekayaan intelektual yang mereka miliki, maka tentu dengan mudah pihak-pihak yang tidak bertanggung jawab dapat mencuri karya tersebut.

Untuk itu, adanya payung hukum yang dapat melindungi para pekerja kreatif dan inovator agar karya mereka tidak dibajak oleh pihak lain merupakan sesuatu yang sangat penting. Berita baiknya, hal ini juga sudah menjadi perhatian dari beberapa pejabat terkait, salah satunya adalah Menteri Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia (Menkumham), Yasonna Laoly.

Dalam rapat kerja dengan Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) bulan lalu, Menkumham menyatakan bahwa harus ada regulasi dan aturan hukum yang ditujukan untuk melindungi para pekerja kreatif dari perkembangan teknologi kecerdasan buatan yang semakin maju. Menkumham juga menyatakan bahwa, perusahaan teknologi raksasa seperti Google juga mengatakan bahwa mereka lagi bergumul terkait dengan masalah ini (antaranews.com, 23/9/2023).

Adanya regulasi dan perlindungan hukum tentu merupakan langkah yang paling tepat untuk melindungi kekayaan intelektual yang dimiliki oleh pekerja kreatif. Tetapi, di sisi lain, ada juga beberapa langkah aktif yang bisa dilakukan oleh para pemangku kepentingan dalam rangka mencapai tujuan tersebut, salah satunya dari sisi para pelaku usaha.

Staf Ahli Menteri Bidang Reformasi dan Regulasi Kementerian Pariwisata dan Ekonomi Kreatif (Kemenparekraf) misalnya, mengatakan bahwa, penting juga bagi pelaku usaha melalui asosiasi mereka turut terlibat dalam penyusunan regulasi tersebut. Beberapa langkah yang bisa dilakukan oleh para pelaku usaha diantaranya adalah membuat panduan mengenai apa yang dianggap sebagai batasan kemiripan yang substansial dari suatu karya tertentu (hukumonline.com, 2/7/2020).

Hal ini tentu merupakan sesuatu yang sangat penting, mengingat regulasi mengenai perlindungan kekayaan intelektual, terlebih lagi di era digital, bukan merupakan sesuatu yang mudah. Seseorang bisa membuat karya dengan menjiplak karya tertentu dengan melakukan sedikit perubahan. Oleh karena itu, adanya ketentuan batasan kemiripan yang substansial dari lembaga asosiasi merupakan hal yang dapat membantu untuk memberi kejelasan dan tentunya mempermudah perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual.

Terlebih lagi, seiring dengan perkembangan teknologi artificial intelligence yang semakin pesat, AI bisa dengan mudah membuat karya melalui jiplakan atau menyalin karya orang lain, atau mengombinasikan beberapa karya tersebut. Tanpa adanya ketentuan dan batasan yang jelas mengenai inti atau “DNA” dari karya tertentu, maka dapat dengan sangat mudah bagi teknologi AI untuk menduplikasi karya tersebut.

Terkait dengan hal tersebut, perkembangan AI sendiri saat ini juga menjadi salah satu hal yang diperhatikan oleh lembaga pemerintah terkait, salah satunya adalah Direktorat Jenderal Kekayaan Intelektual Kementerian Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia (Kemenkumham). Kemenkumham melalui Dirjen Kekayaan Intelektual menyampaikan bahwa AI berpotensi bisa menjadi subyek hukum seperti dengan perorangan atau korporasi (hukumonline.com, 2/7/2020).

Sebagai penutup, perkembangan teknologi artificial intelligence yang sangat pesat merupakan fenomena yang hampir tidak bisa dibendung. Dengan segala manfaat kebaikannya, tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa AI juga membawa berbagai tantangan baru, salah satunya adalah terkait dengan perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual yang semakin sulit. Untuk itu, dibutuhkan reformasi hukum yang sesuai untuk dapat mengakomodir keadaan tersebut.

Originally published here

For the farm bill to do any good, it needs to prioritize this one thing

Is the farm bill a welfare program for slackers or the last-ever chance to create a sustainable food model for the future? Listening to Republicans and Democrats, those seem to be the only two choices.

The $1 trillion-plus spending package that is the 2023 farm bill is set to become an unprecedented point of contention in Congress. The farm bill has traditionally been a bipartisan effort; however, lawmakers on the Republican bench are concerned over the implications of the bill for the debt ceiling.

The farm bill is a five-year legislative plan that governs much of America’s food production. It dictates everything from how food is made to who has access to it, including everything from farmer training to crop insurance and food research. Arguably, programs such as these are expensive because, evidently, so is agriculture. 

The United States is not alone in this aspect, given the fact that the European Union uses more than a third of its annual budget for farming and regional development. However, the largest factor for the sizable price tag is nutrition programs, covering a welfare aspect that has far less consensus in Congress: food stamps.

House Republicans believe that the farm bill should limit access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by changing work requirements for its beneficiaries. In plain English, this means: If you’re able-bodied and do not have children, food stamps will only be accessible if you’re over the age of 55, from the existing 49. 

While it is important to look at the sizable cost of SNAP payments in the farm bill, both Republicans and Democrats should strive for a more thorough vision of agriculture. The price of food stamp policies is also defined by the overall cost of food.

The other pricey section of the farm bill consists of subsidies for farmers through direct payments and insurance policies. It is true that the United States subsidizes agriculture to a lesser extent than its European counterparts, all while guaranteeing a more sustainable and efficient food sector. The U.S. also shines on free trade compared to EU policies, as it implements fewer tariffs, and subsidizes and exports less, making sure it faces fewer World Trade Organization challenges than other countries. That said, the U.S. has increased the reliance of farmers on income support through direct producer payments, as Department of Agriculture research outlines.

A question lawmakers should be asking is whether the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation even needs to continue being a federal government program when private insurance companies provide similar services. On top of that, it would be important for USDA to conduct an impact assessment on the cost implications for farmers of the chemical policies that the federal government implements.

In fact, regulatory restrictions on chemical crop protection products negatively affect how reliably farmers can supply our supermarkets. The Environmental Protection Agency silently pushes out synthetic pesticides and would rather have consumers purchase much pricier organic products. Now granted, if consumers wish to shop organic, that is their choice. However, we cannot expect the public to shift to products with price premiums of up to 100% just because the administration has decided that crop protection methods that have been deemed safe by other agencies now suddenly ought to be phased out. 

Many environmental groups are pushing for tighter regulations on pesticides because they long for what they assume were the good old days in which farms were small and tractors were car-sized. The reality they haven’t faced is that the world has moved on and that nobody wants to move back to the consumer purchasing power of the 1950s.

Regulation has a hidden price tag, and if the administration wants to have a serious discussion about the sustainability and viability of the farm sector, it needs to be transparent about all of these costs, not just try to score a flawed deal to avoid a government shutdown.

Farm subsidies are far from being an ironclad guarantee that food will be either available or affordable. For that to happen, we need to analyze the entire food chain and its regulations to determine whether or not our own fear of crop protection chemicals is actually the cause of many of our ills.

Originally published here

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