- Post 05 July 2012
- By Copy Editor
The federal government has financed a multi-million dollar ad campaign in New York City and elsewhere attacking sugary soft drinks. But legislation passed last week continues subsidizing sugar producers, and allows food stamp recipients to buy soda and other supposedly unhealthy foods with taxpayer money.
Uncle Sam is fighting soda consumption, in other words, even as it subsidizes its consumption and the production of the ingredient it says is causing obesity.
The U.S. Senate approved the 2012 “farm bill” last week with a few minor cuts to agriculture subsidies. But the sugar industry managed to preserve tariffs on the importation of sugar and domestic quotas that keep prices artificially high an effort to maintain American sugar farmers’ profit margins.
Nearly 80% of the Senate Farm Bill’s authorizations go towards funding the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The Agriculture Department has opposed restrictions against the use of SNAP funds to purchase junk food and other less healthy food options.
The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 allows SNAP funds to be spent on soft drinks, candy, snack food, and other less nutritious options. Heritage has recommended reforms to the SNAP program that would limit recipients’ ability to spend taxpayer money on allegedly unhealthy foods. ...continues...