Over 25,000 Californians Tell Congress “Stop Subsidizing Obesity”

Media Contacts
Austin Price

Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network


Sacramento, CA – This week, as the U.S. Senate is holding a major hearing on Agriculture subsidies in preparation for writing the 2012 Farm Bill, CALPIRG organizers and activists across California report delivering over 25,000 California public comments calling on Congress to end subsidies to businesses that don’t need the support, and who grow ingredients for unhealthy food. 

Since1995 the government has handed out over $260 billion in agriculture subsidies. CALPIRG Education Fund researchers calculate that nearly  $17 billion went directly to junk food ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup. An overwhelming majority of subsidies go to giant farm businesses like Cargill and Monsanto, with over 74% of the money going to just 4% of farms.

“The message to Congress today is clear: Why are we subsidizing junk food?”

 At a time when our country is looking for ways to cut spending, the last thing we should be doing is subsidizing hugely profitable companies to produce junk food.  These taxpayer giveaways are all the more absurd at a time when one in three kids is overweight or obese, and diseases like diabetes are approaching epidemic proportions.” said Austin Price, Health Care Associate CALPIRG.

  • CALPIRG staff and activists have had over 145,000 face-to-face conversations with the public to educate fellow Californians about where taxpayer subsidies for agriculture are currently spent
  • Over 25,000 Californians have signed petitions to their members of Congress in support of cutting wasteful ag subsidies 
  • Over 300 have called into congressional offices 
  • And 250 have signed handwritten letters about why they are concerned about ag subsidies 

“Thousands of Californians all over the state are saying they want Congress to stop these wasteful handouts for ‘Big Ag’.  Our tax dollars should be spent on real public priorities, not on subsidies for billion dollar corporations to produce junk food.” 




CALPIRG is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization. 

Learn more about the campaign here

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