Cutting Ag Subsidies Key to Implementing USDA’s Dietary Recommendations

Media Contacts
Brad Ashwell

Florida PIRG

Washington, D.C. — Statement of Elizabeth Hitchcock, Florida PIRG Federal Public Health Advocate on the USDA’s announcement of new Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

“The USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting intake of calories from solid fats, sugars, and refined grains by emphasizing nutrient-dense foods and beverages. With this guidance the USDA is offering a way to address the incidence of childhood obesity which has tripled in the past 30 years.

“American consumers could better put these recommendations into practice if the federal government would stop subsidizing the cheap production of high fat, high calorie foods.

“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 that make a box of Twinkies cheaper than a bag of carrots.

Florida PIRG calls for Congress to cut such agriculture subsidies as it reauthorizes the Farm Bill.”