Cutting Ag Subsidies Key to Implementing USDA’s Dietary Recommendations

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Elizabeth Hitchcock, Public Health Advocate
Office: 202-461-3826
elizabeth@pirg.org

Cutting Ag Subsidies Key to Implementing USDA’s Dietary Recommendations

WASHINGTON - Statement of Elizabeth
Hitchcock,
U.S. PIRG 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. U.S.
PIRG calls for Congress to cut such agriculture subsidies as it reauthorizes
the Farm Bill."

###

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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