Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition Issues for Planning

CED-82-27: Published: Feb 4, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 1982.

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Public concerns about food generally focus on two immediate issues: cost and quality/safety. The food system is complex, encompassing agricultural support service industries that provide products such as energy, machinery, and chemical; the farm sector; the fishing industry; food processors such as slaughterhouses and canners; and the warehousing, distribution, and transportation systems. Previous GAO reports have addressed issues in all of these areas.

GAO conducted a staff study that presented: (1) the results of periodic GAO assessment of current and emerging food and agriculture concerns at the national level; and (2) the issues that will guide GAO audit planning in the food, agriculture, and nutrition program areas for the near future. The study may help others to understand the critical issues facing decisionmakers in these areas. GAO found four major areas of concern: (1) the food system as a whole; (2) maintaining and increasing food productivity; (3) the federal role in the food marketing sector; and (4) human nutrition and federal nutritional assistance.

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