News Release



The Senate Agriculture Committee’s proposed Farm Bill would entrench taxpayer handouts to large agribusinesses and underwrite junk food ingredients
For Immediate Release

Statement of Emily Rusch on the Senate Agriculture Committee’s approval of the 2012 Farm Bill:

Our current agriculture policy hands out billions of taxpayer dollars to large, profitable agribusinesses, and subsidizes the production of corn and soy, which are often processed into junk food ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and soy-based vegetable oils.  The subsidies are heavily skewed towards the biggest players, with 74% of subsidies going to less than 4% of U.S. farmers.  And since 1995, $17 billion taxpayer dollars have underwritten junk food ingredients – enough for every U.S. taxpayer to buy 19 Twinkies apiece, every year.

This year’s Farm Bill is a golden opportunity to end these wasteful subsidies and get our food policy right.  Unfortunately, while the legislation approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee does make a few positive steps, like ending the egregious Direct Payments program, it would further entrench the equally wasteful crop insurance program, which has cost taxpayers $30 billion over the last decade.  And it would create a costly new subsidy scheme that would lock in currently-high corn and soy prices and once again direct billions of taxpayer dollars to giant agribusinesses.

As this flawed legislation heads to the Senate floor, we urge Senators to stand with the public, not Big Ag. 

Support Us

Your donation supports CALPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code

CALPIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.