Too Much of a Good Thing

Agriculture's worldwide boom has produced misery to share

The twelve-nation European Community spends $63,000 an hour to store 1.4 million tons of unsold butter in refrigerated warehouses. Its mountain of skimmed-milk powder rose this summer to 988,000 tons. The E.C. is trying to reduce the stocks by feeding the butter to calves and the milk powder to pigs and poultry. But experts estimate that about half the butter and other refrigerated products have deteriorated so badly that they are no longer fit to be eaten by animals, let alone humans.

Japan's farmers each year grow more rice than the nation's citizens can eat. Yet rice can be sold only...

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