Senators demand reforms to sugar programs

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) called on Congress to stop the sugar industry’s “sweetheart deal” by ending subsidies.

“The sugar program is a sweetheart deal for a small group of sugar growers and processors that’s costing our country jobs and hurting our economy, and it’s time we pass the Sugar Reform Act to put money back in the wallets of American families, businesses and taxpayers,” Shaheen said Friday.

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The three senators have introduced the Sugar Reform Act, which would reform domestic supply restrictions, lowers price support levels and ensures adequate sugar supplies at reasonable prices. 

“It's time to end the government's wasteful sugar program,” Toomey said. “I believe that Congress can and will eventually rein in our flawed sugar policies.”

Congress recently passed a five-year farm bill that continued sugar subsidies for major growers and producers.

The senators said nearly $300 million taxpayer dollars went to the sugar program in 2013 while U.S. candy makers have moved jobs overseas.

“Big sugar has cost American consumers more than $130 million in the past 15 years, and it's time for real reform,” Kirk said. “Senators Shaheen, Toomey and I will continue working to ensure no more American jobs are lost because of the costly sugar lobby.”