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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Coalition for Sugar Reform is reaching out to new members of Congress to reform the current U.S. sugar program, which is estimated to cost consumers up to $3.5 billion a year.
In a letter to the new legislators, 22 business, consumers and environmental organizations pointed to the congressionally mandated sugar policy for the historically high domestic sugar prices over the past four years.
"The federal government has no business imposing such extraordinary costs on everyone except the sugar growers and processors. The sugar industry is able to reap record profits when domestic sugar supplies are tight because of government restrictions, and yet pass on the cost of the sugar program to taxpayers when surplus sugar burdens the market," the Coalition for Sugar Reform wrote.
"We believe the interests of sugar growers and processors should be balanced with the needs of consumers and the opportunity to grow the entire sugar-using sector, where new jobs could be created if an adequate supply of sugar was consistently available in the U.S. market," the coalition added.
The letter urged the legislators to support sugar reform, adding that any reform likely to be considered by Congress this year will restore sugar policies that were included in the 2002 farm bill, and that growers supported.
In addition to the Coalition for Sugar Reform, organizations signing the letter include the American Bakers Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Confectioners Association, National Consumers League and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In November, the Coalition for Sugar Reform launched a campaign titled "Unwrap the Facts" that seeks to counter what the coalition calls the sugar lobby's "misleading propaganda" that is promoted in order to keep existing sugar subsidies in place, as CSNews Online previously reported.
The campaign came soon after the National Confectioners Association converged on Capitol Hill to push Congress to include sugar reform in the 2012 Farm Bill.