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Amid Obesity, Deficit Policy Debates, Government Could Buy 400,000 Tons Of Sugar

March 14, 2013 by  

Amid Obesity, Deficit Policy Debates, Government Could Buy 400,000 Tons Of Sugar

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been attempting to enforce policy initiatives to ban sugary drinks to protect New Yorkers from diabetes and other maladies. And first lady Michelle Obama, in her quest to reduce the number of fat children in America, last month lauded a Wal-Mart initiative to reduce the amount of sugar in its processed foods by 10 percent.

Despite the political bloviating about how bad sugar is (and despite evidence and common sense to the same effect), the Department of Agriculture is currently considering buying 400,000 tons of the sweet stuff. You see, not only does government want to tell you how much sugar to eat — it also wants to tell you how much it should cost and what kind of profits producers of the product should earn.

Last year, sugar processors borrowed $862 million through a government price-support program born out of the 1934 Sugar Act. In the months since the loans were issued, sugar prices have tumbled by about 18 percent and continue to slide. The loans are secured with the 4.1 billion pounds of sugar that companies like American Crystal Sugar Co., Amalgamated Sugar Co., U.S. Sugar Corp. and others expect from the current harvest.

But, with the falling price of sugar government bureaucrats say there is a need for government to intervene to boost prices to an “acceptable level.” That means allowing the sugar producers to essentially default on loans in return for 400,000 tons of sugar (about 4.4 percent of total sugar production) which will then be sold by the government at a loss of about 10 cents a pound, totaling $80 million in loss.

USDA officials say the sugar must be sold on the cheap to entice ethanol producers to buy the stuff.

“If we acquire [sugar] in a down market, we have to get rid of it because we don’t want to own sugar, so we’re going to lose money,”  USDA economist Barbara Fesco said. “No matter how we dispose of it, there’s going to be a loss, so if we sell it [to ethanol producers], at least we’re getting something in return for it.”

The result to consumers would be higher costs of just about anything containing sugar at the market. And the “sugar bailout” would also subtract money from the economy at a time when Federal officials continually express the need for more funding.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • FreedomFighter

    Simple solution — dont buy the sugar and use the money to pay the police and firefighters that were defunded, better yet give it to the military and gas up the aircraft carriers (yes I know they are nuclear powered but it sounded good).

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • Rob

      Frigates and Destroyers still use diesel, don’t they, or JP? Don’t carriers have fuel bunkers for refueling the smaller ships? If that’s the case… Great idea!

  • ibcamn

    leave it to gov’t morons to drive up prices and waste resources…wait that has union all over it!

  • Neal

    Sugar is not so much the problem. High Fructose Corn Syrup, which has largely replaced sugar and acts differently in the body, greatly increases risk of obesity, diabetes and glaucoma. I avoid HFCS because it caused my glaucoma. Ban HFCS and the government won’t have to buy and sell sugar at a loss. While you’re at it, ban gasohol!


    There are many reasons for obesity, glacoma, and other conditions. HFCS does not cause glacoma. It, like many other conditions are caused more by what you inherited from your family, parents and grandparents. Dibetes is cause mostly by a defective gene in your system than by sugary things. My father worked for C&H Sugar Refinery for many years, and retired from there. We had plenty of access to sugar, yet neither my sister nor I are obese, and our parents never became obese from it either. In fact, I don’t know of anyone in my entire family that is or has ever been truly obese. So get off the sugar bashing wagon, start eating sensible, and check your family background before you blame sugar or other sweeting materials for your health problems. Also, diabetes is caused by an inherited gene, not sugar or HFCS.

  • tim

    Hopefully someone will sue the govt for insider trading and price fixing!!!! That’s exactly what this is. The same thing is going on right now with the gov’t purchasing all the ammo made!!! If you don’t think they aren’t making money in the market right now your’e nuts. This is how they made up for taking away insider trading from them!!!!!!


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