Last month the cabinet endorsed a measure to allow for price controls on food products that would assign levels of “acceptable profits,” according the Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan. The ministry reported that prices of tomatoes have risen by almost 100 percent in the past four months alone, with one variety up as much as 400 percent. Hassan also attacked the policy of former Minister of Economics and Trade Sami Haddad for issuing a ministerial decree that annulled a previous legislative decree that had set a profit margin of 27 percent for middlemen dealing in various foodstuffs and household items. The minister also stated that he expected meat prices to remain high until after Eid el-Adha. Hassan said that his aim was to lower the import-export ratio for food in the country from 80:20 to 60:40.