Larry Graham, chairman of the Coalition for Sugar Reform and president of the National Confectioners Association, issued the following statement in response to the Farm Bill proposal submitted by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to the Joint Select Committee:
“The Coalition for Sugar Reform is outraged by reports that the Agriculture Committees have recommended extending the current U.S. sugar policy in their ‘secret’ farm bill proposal. These lawmakers have made a last-minute decision that will harm American consumers and businesses for generations to come. Study after study has proven that the current sugar policy is detrimental to consumers and businesses, and a new study by Iowa State researchers has found that reform of the program would save billions of dollars each year in consumer costs and generate thousands of new jobs. Yet the agriculture committees’ proposal extends a costly government-controlled subsidy program that serves to benefit Big Sugar and other agribusiness interests.
“As other agriculture commodities are being rethought and modified, the sugar program should be thoroughly reformed to lower consumer costs and provide relief for American small businesses who are being crushed by the current, overly intrusive government program. Otherwise, sugar policy must be left for future legislation where it can receive the fair and democratic debate it deserves.”