Florida Editorial Board Highlights Need For Sugar Reform

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Stuart, FL — Most foods containing sugar produced in the U.S. are significantly more costly than they should be because current policy artificially drives up prices for the commodity, according to the editorial board of the Treasure Coast Newspapers.

“Sugar prices are inflated by design, a result of a federal program originally passed in 1934 to protect sugar growers from foreign competition. For the domestic sugar industry, it’s been a sweet deal indeed,” the board wrote.

The journalists go on to highlight the bipartisan, bicameral Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / S. 2086), which has strong support from free-market advocates, environmentalists, small businesses, retailers and food manufacturers. The proposed legislation aims to reduce artificially high U.S. sugar prices by reforming price supports for the commodity.

Further, the Treasure Coast reported that 11 environmental groups have asked U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) to support the Sugar Policy Modernization Act, noting “mass production of sugar cane in the Everglades Agricultural area remains a great impediment to efforts to restore the Everglades.”

Despite being in Florida, where the sugar-growing industry supports an estimated 30,000 jobs, the board reports that reform would lift overall employment as federal studies show that “every sugar-processing job subsidized via artificially high U.S. sugar prices cost three American manufacturing jobs.”

The board goes on to note that if U.S. sugar prices fell by one-third, consumers could save as much as $3.5 billion, citing a 2011 study.

“The sugar industry has enjoyed protections for more than 80 years,” the board wrote. “This has been good for the industry, but the drawbacks for the rest of the country are clear — and it’s time, finally, for a change.”

The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy is further amplifying the call to reform the sugar program by rallying a diverse group of interested parties, including NCA, American Bakers Association, Taxpayers Protection Alliance and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to drive change. For more details on the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy, or to find out how you can get involved in the reform movement, visit fairsugarpolicy.org.