For Immediate Release
Elizabeth Hitchcock, Public Health Advocate
Obama Budget Proposes Important First Cuts to Ag Subsidies
WASHINGTON - Statement of U.S. PIRG 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.
“U.S. PIRG 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.”
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.