Happy Halloween! In a blog posted today, one of the nation’s leading consumer advocacy organizations, the National Consumers League (NCL) urged Congress to reform costly, “spooky,” sugar subsidies in the farm bill. Teresa Green, NCL Linda Golodner Food Safety & Nutrition Fellow, wrote:
“Halloween and all of the sweet treats American families buy at this time of year are a reminder of one of many critical issues Congress must address: U.S. sugar program reform. Costing American consumers an extra $3.5 billion a year in higher grocery bills, the sugar program, which began during the Great Depression, is in dire need of reform….
“The U.S. sugar program costs the average family of four $40 per year. This may seem like an insignificant amount, but when multiplied by 300 million Americans, the total cost to U.S. consumers is $3.5 billion every year.
“By artificially raising the U.S. price of sugar, the program acts as a hidden tax on consumers, impacting all products that use sugar. These items include the obvious things like candy, cookies and other treats, but also less obvious products such as bread, tomato sauce, peanut butter and frozen veggies. Furthermore, this ‘hidden tax’ is also regressive, because low-income consumers spend a higher percentage of their income on food.”
To read the full blog post, click here.