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  • Uncle Sam Simultaneously Attacks and Subsidizes Soda Consumption

    The federal government has financed a multi-million dollar ad campaign in New York City and elsewhere attacking sugary soft drinks. But legislation passed last week continues subsidizing sugar producers, and allows food stamp recipients to buy soda and other supposedly unhealthy foods with taxpayer money.

    Uncle Sam is fighting soda consumption, in other words, even as it subsidizes its consumption and the production of the ingredient it says is causing obesity.

    The U.S. Senate approved the 2012 “farm bill” last week with a few minor cuts to agriculture subsidies. But the sugar industry managed to preserve tariffs on the importation of sugar and domestic quotas that keep prices artificially high an effort to maintain American sugar farmers’ profit margins.

    Nearly 80% of the Senate Farm Bill’s authorizations go towards funding the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The Agriculture Department has opposed restrictions against the use of SNAP funds to purchase junk food and other less healthy food options.

    The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 allows SNAP funds to be spent on soft drinks, candy, snack food, and other less nutritious options. Heritage has recommended reforms to the SNAP program that would limit recipients’ ability to spend taxpayer money on allegedly unhealthy foods.

    But while the federal government supports the production of sugar and the consumption of sugary foods, it has also spent tens of millions of dollars marked for economic recovery programs to attack the soda industry and discourage consumers from buying their products.

    In New York City, which is looking to ban soft drinks larger than 16 oz., the federal government has financed 87% of a $2.8 million ad campaign linking soda to obesity, according to a Sunday report in the New York Times.

    New York’s campaign came under fire after the city’s Health Department aired a TV spot, featuring a man with an amputated leg, claiming that soda can lead to the amputation of limbs. But the video was digitally altered – the man still has both legs.

    The year before, internal emails were released showing the Health Department deliberately ignored scientific disputes over some of the claims in their ads.

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Uncle Sam Simultaneously Attacks and Subsidizes Soda Consumption

    1. Bobbie says:

      Instead of increasing taxes for government gain and by government force, how about reducing or tax exemption on sugar free sodas and all the government has since and here forth, calls "whatever" in the name of healthy?

      Everywhere government isn't suppose to be is everywhere government has to be removed! Their desperation for more money and Roberts handing over the reign is going to be forceful and fierce ignorance put on us since taken over by government! There's no need for tax increasing anywhere but much need for discipline regarding matters obligated at our cost taken from our control.

    2. rockncoal says:

      Makes as much sense as a city paying someone to keep pouring gasoline on a fire while their fire department is trying to put it out! Are their no limits to the stupidity and inefficiency of government?

    3. Todd Bulgarino says:

      A very insightful piece. Unfortunately e have become so jaded that this wasteful behavior is no longer shocking. It is endemic in government, (D)s and (R)s…… spending other people's money bring each of them personal power…

      Keep fighting the good fight.

    4. ToddB says:

      A very insightful piece. Unfortunately we have become so jaded that this wasteful behavior is no longer shocking. It is endemic in government, (D)s and (R)s…… spending other people's money bring each of them personal power…

      Keep fighting the good fight.

    5. Ethicallylogical says:

      So now they're trying to control what kind of sodas i drink?
      With election day coming up, unrest in.. ALL of Europe, New conflicts stirring up in the middle east and africa every day, the immigration problem, opening the floodgates to anyone who wants to take a stroll across the border, the growing "Global warming problem", The BP oil spill which, lets face it, is not fixed and wont be for a while, and this Obamacare Tax becoming constitutional. With all of that going on… And you want to tell me what kind of soda i drink? Yeah… good plan.

    6. SpidermanTUba says:

      The premise that supporting sugar producers is the same as supporting the consumption of high calorie soft drinks is absurd. Most high calorie soft drinks aren't even sweetened with sugar. But hey – why let facts stand in our way of hating Obama? Obama bad!

    7. OldmanRick says:

      Talk about stupid is as stupid does. Neither the left hand of this administration knows what the right hand is doing, nor does the congress have a clue as to what it's doing. Confirm that there is one govt sponsored program which works as planned and is well managed. Govt is just too big.

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