Stop Subsidizing Obesity

Our tax dollars should only go to things that serve the public good, yet we’re handing out taxpayer subsidies to big agribusinesses to help subsidize junk food. Huge, profitable corporations like Cargill and Monsanto are pocketing tens of billions in taxpayer dollars, and turning subsidized crops into junk food ingredients — including high fructose corn syrup.

These taxpayer giveaways are all the more absurd at a time when one in three kids is overweight or obese, and obesity-related diseases like diabetes are turning into an epidemic.

Obesity Quick Facts:

  • Diets high in saturated fats impair learning and memory.
  • Once an adult problem, diabetes associated with obesity is growing among children.
  • One in three school-age children are overweight or obese.
  • The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years.

With Congress looking at ways to trim spending and reduce the deficit, cutting this kind of wasteful spending has the potential to bring together allies from across the political spectrum.

But big agribusiness will fight to protect their billions in subsidies. We know, because in 2008, they spent $200 million lobbying and on campaign contributions.

No one in Congress wants to be seen standing up for taxpayer giveaways to junk food, and with public concern about obesity and federal spending at all time highs, your support can help us finally beat Big Ag and end subsidies for junk food.

Issue updates

Media Hit | Foods

Federal Subsidies Support Junk Food Instead Of Fresh Food, Report Says

Citing the obesity epidemic among America’s children, a California consumer group says federal subsidies support junk food instead of fresh food. CALPIRG’s report is called “Apples to Twinkies 2012” because it says producers of corn syrup are financially favored over apple growers.

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Media Hit | Foods

STUDY: Farm Bill Contributing To America’s Obesity Crisis

While Congress struggles to push a Farm Bill through before the critical legislation expires, a new report by the California Public Interest Group (CALPIRG) highlights an underdiscussed problem with the way the law has been structured in the past: it’s making us unhealthy. CALPIRG researchers found that the crop subsidies in the Farm Bill overwhelmingly went to ingredients that fuel the junk food industry rather than fresh fruits and vegetables. As a result, the subsidies artificially driving down prices for the very foodstuffs fueling the nation’sobesity crisis:

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News Release | CalPIRG Education Fund | Foods


Los Angeles, CA – Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 21 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to CALPIRG’s new report, Apples to Twinkies 2012. Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

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