Coalition Uses USDA Announcement to Highlight Need for Sugar Program Reform

According to the Coalition for Sugar Reform - the current instability in the U.S. sugar market is the direct result of market-distorting changes made to the sugar program in the 2008 farm bill. The coalition - on the heels of a USDA announcement regarding the management of a domestic sugar surplus - is urging members of the House to reform the program in the 2013 farm bill. According to Coalition Chairman Larry Graham - USDA is doing all that is possible to stave off the very real taxpayer costs that are coming down the pike as a result of the outdated U.S. sugar program. He says sugar program reform is needed now to help balance the program so it takes into account the interests of all stakeholders - most notably U.S. taxpayers.

The coalition is asking members to support a bipartisan sugar reform amendment introduced by Representatives Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, Danny Davis of Illinois, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon. The Coalition for Sugar Reform says this measure would not repeal the sugar program - but would reform it - leaving protections in place for sugar producers and processors while helping to lower prices and create U.S. growth and jobs.

In a release - the coalition notes that according to the U.S. Department of Commerce - nearly 127-thousand jobs were lost in U.S. sugar-using industries between 1997 and 2011. In addition - Iowa State University researchers estimate that the U.S. sugar program costs American consumers and businesses up to 3.5-billion dollars a year.

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