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A new study released Wednesday in San Diego shows that American taxpayers are subsidizing junk food at a level that dwarfs federal support for healthy foods.
The findings are being used in a campaign that targets Capitol Hill lawmakers.
The California Public Interest Research Group, CalPIRG, found that between 1995 and last year, $18 billion subsidized crops that produce four additives for food that scientists say is anything but healthy.
During that span, only $637 million went toward apples, the only significant fruit or vegetable getting federal aid – the bulk of which goes to large, corporate agri-businesses. Source: Farm Bill Study: Junk Food Crops Get the Bulk of Federal Subsidies | NBC 7 San Diego
When it comes to what San Diegans are paying in federal farm subsidies, according to CalPIRG, an aggregate of $4.5 million a year goes to junk-food crops, versus $160,000 to healthy food. That's the equivalent of 12 million Twinkies, versus 329,000 apples. Source: Farm Bill Study: Junk Food Crops Get the Bulk of Federal Subsidies | NBC 7 San Diego
Since 1995, CALPIRG found that “childhood obesity had tripled…one in five kids aged 6 to 11 [is] now obese” and that “projections suggest that by 2030, half of Americans will be obese.” Further, the U.S. already spends $150 billion a year on “obesity and comorbidities,” a price tag that CALPIRG found would increase by an additional $66 billion per year if estimates about obesity rates were accurate.
The Senate bill cuts only $4 billion from food stamps and has different crop insurance provisions than the House bill. It is also opposed by Southern farmers because it lacks price-based subsidies.
Path to the 2012 Farm Bill: House Moves Toward Extension Rather than Reform Thursday, July 26th, 2012
With daily national press accounts on the serious drought affecting substantial segments of the heartland as backdrop, the House Republican leadership decided this week to use the drought as a cover story for extending the current farm bill for a year rather than passing a new farm bill with substantial reforms. NSAC opposes extending the Read the Rest…
"Let's invest that money back into community farms,” said Barry Braden, co-owner of Local Habit, a Hillcrest organic-food café where CalPIRG members and other diet-conscious activists released their findings.