Agricultural products (1 - 10 of 180 items)
Food Safety: FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Monitoring Limitations
GAO-15-38: Published: Oct 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2014.
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) most recent data from 2008 through 2012 show that pesticide residue violation rates in 10 selected fruits and vegetables were low, but FDA's approach to monitoring for violations, which targets commodities it has identified as high risk, has limitations. Among other things, GAO found that FDA tests relatively few targeted (i.e., non-generalizable) samples f...
Farm Programs: Changes Are Needed to Eligibility Requirements for Being Actively Involved in Farming
GAO-13-781: Published: Sep 26, 2013. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2013.
Compliance reviews conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) to determine if farming operation members (individuals and entities) meet the payment requirements for being actively engaged in farming are hindered by broad and subjective requirements and difficulty in verifying individuals' evidence of claimed contributions. To be actively engaged in farming, an indi...
Agricultural Trade: USDA Is Monitoring Market Development Programs as Required but Could Improve Analysis of Impact
GAO-13-740: Published: Jul 31, 2013. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2013.
Market development program participants use program funds to support a variety of activities intended to raise awareness or acceptance of U.S. agricultural products in overseas markets. Common activities include, among others, market research, consumer and retail promotion, and participation in international trade shows. GAO's analysis of expenditure data from 2007 through 2011 shows that particip...
Agricultural Chemicals: USDA Could Enhance Pesticide and Fertilizer Usage Data, Improve Outreach, and Better Leverage Resources
GAO-11-37: Published: Nov 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 2010.
The use of pesticides and fertilizers contributes to U.S. agricultural productivity and helps ensure a generally stable, plentiful, and inexpensive food supply. However, these chemicals may also harm human health, water quality, and food safety. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects, analyzes, and disseminates Agricultural Chemical Usa...
Food Safety: FDA Has Begun to Take Action to Address Weaknesses in Food Safety Research, but Gaps Remain
GAO-10-182R: Published: Apr 23, 2010. Publicly Released: May 24, 2010.
The United States faces challenges to ensuring food safety. First, imported food makes up a substantial and growing portion of the U.S. food supply, with 60 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables and 80 percent of seafood coming from across our borders. In recent years, there has been an increase in reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with both domestic and imported produce. Second,...
U.S. Agriculture: Retail Food Prices Grew Faster Than the Prices Farmers Received for Agricultural Commodities, but Economic Research Has Not Established That Concentration Has Affected These Trends
GAO-09-746R: Published: Jun 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2009.
Over the past 25 years, farmers have received a decreasing share of the consumer food dollar. Some analysts and farm interest groups are concerned that this decline can be attributed, in part, to increasing concentration in agriculture. They believe that firms in highly concentrated markets may be able to exert market power by raising retail food prices while also depressing prices farmers receive...
Crop Insurance: Opportunities Exist to Reduce the Costs of Administering the Program
GAO-09-445: Published: Apr 29, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2009.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the federal crop insurance program with private insurance companies, which, in turn, work with insurance agencies that sell crop insurance. In 2008, according to USDA, the program cost $6.5 billion, including about $2.0 billion in allowances to insurance companies to cover their administrative and operating (A&O) expenses, such as salaries and...
Food Safety: Improvements Needed in FDA Oversight of Fresh Produce
GAO-08-1047: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
In recent years, both domestic and imported produce have been linked to reported outbreaks of foodborne illness. Contamination in produce is of particular concern because produce is often consumed raw. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of both domestic and imported fresh produce. GAO was asked to examine (1) the resources FDA has spent on fre...
International Trade: U.S. Agencies Need Greater Focus to Support Mexico's Successful Transition to Liberalized Agricultural Trade Under NAFTA
GAO-05-272: Published: Mar 25, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2005.
In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created the world's largest free trade area and, among other things, reduced or eliminated barriers for U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico's vast and growing markets. As part of a body of GAO work on NAFTA issues, this report (1) identifies progress made and difficulties encountered in gaining market access for U.S. agricultural exports to...
Dairy Industry: Information on Milk Prices, Factors Affecting Prices, and Dairy Policy Options
GAO-05-50: Published: Dec 29, 2004. Publicly Released: Jan 28, 2005.
In 2003, U.S. dairy farmers marketed nearly 19.7 billion gallons of raw milk, one-third of which were used in fluid milk products. Farmers, cooperatives, processors, and retailers receive a portion of the retail price of milk for their part in providing milk to consumers. During 2002 and 2003, farm prices fell while retail prices did not similarly decline. This pattern raised concerns about a grow...