WASHINGTON – Statement of ConnPIRG Federal Public Health Advocate Elizabeth Hitchcock on the President’s proposed 2012 budget, which includes more than $1 billion in cuts over five years to agriculture subsidies that are achieved by reducing the cap on Department of Agriculture direct payments and tightening eligibility standards.
“Billions of taxpayer dollars have been directed toward agribusiness – artificially driving down the cost of fats and sugars by subsidizing commodity crops like corn and soybeans. Meanwhile, the prices for fruits and vegetables, grown with relatively little government support, have steadily increased by nearly 40% in the past 20 years.
“We can take important steps toward curbing childhood obesity by curbing taxpayer subsidies to agribusiness that make a box of Twinkies cheaper than a bag of carrots.
“ConnPIRG applauds the President’s proposed cuts to these subsidies and calls for Congress to further cut such agriculture subsidies as it reauthorizes the Farm Bill.”