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Regulation of the Day: Taxpayer-Funded Advertising for Mushrooms

This is the first installment of an occasional series that shines a little light on what the regulatory state is up to. Today’s Regulation of the Day comes to us from the Agricultural Marketing Service (5,500 employees, $1.3 billion 2008 budget). Farmers are apparently unique among businesses in being unable to promote themselves, and therefore need help from the federal government. Page 26,984 of the 2009 Federal Register contains a proposed rule titled “Amendments to Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order and Referendum Order.” Basically, large mushroom producers will vote in a referendum to decide if they like proposed changes in federal mushroom policy. Also at issue is membership apportionment on the all-important Mushroom Council.