Consumer Advocates

“Analysts estimate that U.S. consumers and businesses pay anywhere from $3.5 to $4.5 billion in higher costs due to the government’s inflation of sugar prices. Taxpayers too, shoulder the burden of the government’s intrusion in the sugar market. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the surplus sugar the government buys and sells, at a loss, to ethanol producers, will cost taxpayers $374 million over the next decade.”

 Americans for Tax Reform,
August 13, 2012

“The current sugar program is nothing more than a hidden tax on American consumers.  The special interest sugar program imposes additional unnecessary food costs on every American family and is also responsible for the loss of U.S. food manufacturing jobs. … In no other program does the federal government take so much from so many to give to a few. Each month, millions of Americans go to their neighborhood grocery stores to do their food shopping, and unbeknownst to them, the sugar in the bakery products, cereals, ice cream, and the many other food products they buy is subject to a cost that is generally 30 to 40 percent higher than the world cost, courtesy of the U.S. Congress and the sugar program.”

 National Consumers League,
July 6, 2012

“For too long, consumers have been stuck with the tab for a sugar program designed to inflate the domestic price of sugar. Since passage of the 2008 farm bill, refined and retail sugar prices have been at all-time record highs…[S]ugar reform…will provide much needed economic relief to many households.”

Consumer Federation of America, 
June 12, 2012

“Despite claiming to reform agriculture, many of the most costly programs lack reform or are simply made worse. Antiquated and convoluted sugar programs, which collectively cost consumers $3.5 billion per year in higher food prices, are left untouched.”

—Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform,
In Letter to U.S. Senate, June 4, 2012

“This is a subsidy … and one that is coming out of consumers’ and taxpayers’ pockets. …Sugar is in a lot of items — candy, bread, cereal, pasta sauce — so it’s represented in every dollar that consumers spend, and the consumer ends up paying as a result.”

—Sally Greenberg, President, National Consumers League,
Remarks at a Congressional Sugar Reform Caucus
Staff Briefing, February 22, 2012

“The time for totally eliminating the sugar program may be now. Sugar prices have been above support levels in the past few years, and even futures prices through 2012 indicate continued high prices.”

—Michael K. Wohlgenant, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, North Carolina State University, Sweets for the Sweet: The Costly Benefits of the U.S. Sugar Program, Paper on Cost of
U.S. Sugar Policy, July 12, 2011

“I have spent much of my life working to save the Everglades. Phosphorus from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA,) as well as sugar demanding water be wasted to sea, continues to be the biggest impediments to a healthy Everglades. Well over half of the EAA’s 700,000 acres is owned by Big Sugar. The sugar program has made Big Sugar very rich. Big Sugar can buy the favors of politicians with ease, and it does just that.”

—Mary Barley, Founder, Everglades Trust,
“Big Sugar and the Everglades,” Op-ed in
The Gainesville Sun, April 8, 2011

“It is time to dissolve the U.S. sugar program, an imprudent system which has survived since the New Deal era. Its antiquated, Soviet-style command-and-control structure has proven to be detrimental to American consumers and businesses, as it creates artificially high sugar prices that greatly affect the cost of food and beverages.”

—Council for Citizens Against Government Waste,
Statement Supporting Senator Richard Lugar’s
Free Sugar Act of 2011 (S. 685), April 1, 2011

“The NFTC has long advocated reform of the current U.S. sugar program, which sets artificially low import quotas and applies high tariffs on imports exceeding those limits— raising prices for American industry and consumers.

“As the debate over the 2012 farm bill is soon to begin, we applaud Sens. Shaheen and Kirk for taking an early stand and calling into question current U.S. sugar policy. Sugar prices are at an all-time high, and this issue not only affects consumers but U.S. sugar-using industries and the thousands of workers they employ.”

—Bill Reinsch, President, National Foreign Trade Council, January 25, 2011


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