Evaluation of Congressional Comments on GAO's Report Entitled "Alternatives To Reduce Dairy Surpluses"

CED-80-88A: Published: Aug 12, 1980. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 1980.

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The GAO evaluation is presented of comments made by the Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee, House Agriculture Committee on the GAO Report entitled "Alternatives to Reduce Dairy Surpluses."

The Subcommittee believed that the report would be of very little use to it in drafting new dairy legislation because it did not discuss side benefits; included no discussion of the impact of import policy and the impact of imports; ignored the proliferation of imitation dairy products; discussed farm income only in comparison to the income of other commodities; did not discuss the history of dairy product retail prices as compared to retail prices of other products; ignored the influences of other commodity supply and pricing; the alternatives discussed were not inclusive nor meaningful; and there was no discussion of the flexible parity formulas. GAO responded to each of the comments and agreed that the issues of trade policy, parity levels, surpluses, consumer costs, and alternative programs all need to be adequately explored in establishing a dairy policy. It recognized that a report on sensitive and controversial issues will be criticized by many for various reasons, especially if changes are recommended to an established program such as the dairy price support program.

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