Report Spotlights 'Junk Food' Commodities Subsidies

  • September 26, 2011
According to a new report from CALPIRG and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, the federal government is spending more to subsidize high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other commodities found in "junk food" than produce.

The study, "Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food," finds that between 1995 and 2010, the government spent $16.9 billion subsidizing producers and others in the corn syrup, HFCS, corn starch and soy oils businesses, reports the Los Angeles Times.

CALPIRG said that if the agricultural subsidies were to go directly to consumers, each of the U.S.'s 144 million taxpayers would be able to purchase $7.36 in "junk food" per year -- such as 19 Twinkies -- but just one-quarter of a Red Delicious apple.

The report comes as Congress considers whether to kill or cut back on agricultural subsidies.



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