I found this little article by way of my google alerts. It asks a good question--one that has been lurking in the back of our minds for some time. The prices of commodities and fuel has gone down but manufacturers continue to raise the prices of food and/or shrink the product. Why? I ask with arched eyebrows. Part of the answers, according to the author, lies with the manufacturers strategy last fall when prices were high and threatening to go higher. They bought futures at the inflated price and are now stuck with them. So we pay the price. I reminds me of the discussions Mom and I have every time the local utility sends out their sales pitch for their budgeting programs. You know--the ones where the bill is averaged so that you pay the same amount each month and then settle up at the end of the year for whatever you might have used in excess of the cumulative payments. Of course they charge for this 'service.' And any excess you pay they get to keep until they have to give it back or, more likely, apply to next year's usage. Needless to say, they also keep any interest their bank pays on the money also. We have always rejected these 'deals.' None of our monthly bills come close to the amounts they figure on for the program and we would much prefer to keep the money in our pockets (and the interest in our bank account).
If you go to this site, though, read the section on H.R. 875. The bill is titled 'Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009.' I haven't read the bill myself--yet--but if it contains even part of what is described it should be named 'Industrial Agriculture and Food Manufacturing Industry Full Employment Act of 2009.' I have a lot of problems with what I have read so far but I will wait to post anything until after I have read the thing myself.