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Abstract

American agricultural policy has evolved from its early focus on agricultural development and expansion to its current focus on economic and political support for the agricultural sector. Agricultural law as a discipline has tracked this policy, with agricultural law scholars debating the origins and the validity of the special treatment of agriculture under the law. This article reviews these debates and calls for a reconsideration of agricultural law and policy to address the unique aspects of agricultural production, the fragility of the environment, and the fundamental need for healthy food. Transforming the special law of agriculture to a new more inclusive system that focuses on the sustainable production of healthy food is a critical challenge for the future. Moreover, it provides the only way to assure a politically sustainable agricultural policy.

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