U.S. Big Corn Goes After Old Foe, Sugar, With New Lobbying Tactic

By: Michael Hirtzer

Excerpt: The powerful U.S. corn lobby is launching an unusual offensive against the country’s sugar sector, an old foe in the lucrative sweetener market: seeking to overturn the controversial, near-century old U.S. sugar program.

The Corn Refiners Association, which represents high-fructose corn syrup producers, has hired Washington lobbyist firm, the Alpine Group, to challenge sugar’s long-protected status, a spokesman for the organization said on Thursday.

The sugar program, which restricts imports, sets price floors and provides government-backed loans to cane and beet processors, is considered one of the most generous in the U.S. Farm Bill that passed a year ago.

“The sugar loan program is an embarrassment,” Corn Refiners chief executive officer John Bode said in a statement. Its members include Archer Daniels Midland Co and Cargill Inc.

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