Does Food Security Justify Support for Agriculture?
Food security is often invoked to justify protectionist policies in the agricultural sector. Yet supplies are largely guaranteed due both to possible forms of substitution on the supply side and on the demand side. Protectionist measures have shown themselves to be poorly adapted to the stabilisation of world prices, when they do not in fact worsen price volatility. Lastly, rules relating to the quality of products are preferable to traditional forms of protection which are less direct and more expensive. The best justification for agricultural support therefore lies in the recognition of the "multifunctionality" of this activity. Agriculture not only produces goods, it also produces regional and environmental services whose public nature justifies collective support. For these reasons, CAP agricultural support should be reformed along the lines set out by the WTO.
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