Stop Subsidizing Obesity

Put Junk Food Subsidies on a Diet

Our tax dollars should only go to things that serve the public good, yet we’re handing out taxpayer subsidies to big agribusinesses to help subsidize junk food. Huge, profitable corporations like Cargill and Monsanto are pocketing tens of billions in taxpayer dollars, and turning subsidized crops into junk food ingredients — including high fructose corn syrup.

These taxpayer giveaways are all the more absurd at a time when one in three kids is overweight or obese, and obesity-related diseases like diabetes are turning into an epidemic.

Obesity Quick Facts:

  • Diets high in saturated fats impair learning and memory.
  • Once an adult problem, diabetes associated with obesity is growing among children.
  • One in three school-age children are overweight or obese.
  • The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years.

With Congress looking at ways to trim spending and reduce the deficit, cutting this kind of wasteful spending has the potential to bring together allies from across the political spectrum.

But big agribusiness will fight to protect their billions in subsidies. We know, because in 2008, they spent $200 million lobbying and on campaign contributions.

No one in Congress wants to be seen standing up for taxpayer giveaways to junk food, and with public concern about obesity and federal spending at all time highs, your support can help us finally beat Big Ag and end subsidies for junk food.

Issue updates

Media Hit | Foods

Matthew Gouff and Sartak Neema: "Put a Label On It"

In today’s EcoReport feature, Matthew Gouff and Sartak Neema, INPIRG representatives at IU, discuss their "Put a Label On It" campaign concerning GMO labeling.

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News Release | INPIRG | Foods, Public Health

FDA Delays are Putting American Lives at Risk from Unsafe Food

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) delays in implementing the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act have put Indiana lives at risk and cost the country $22 million in economic costs, according to a new report by INPIRG.

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Report | INPIRG | Foods, Public Health

Food Safety Scares 2013

This report offers a snapshot look, from October 2012 to October 2013, at multistate foodborne illness outbreaks identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Failures in the rules and processes that protect our food supply have led to numerous serious outbreaks over the past year that left many Americans sickened and at least 2 dead. The economic cost of just the multistate outbreaks caused by food products recalled over the past 12 months comes to more than $22 million.

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Report | US PIRG | Foods

Apples To Twinkies 2012

In this report, we find that in 2011, over $1.28 billion in taxpayer subsidies went to junk food ingredients, bringing the total to a staggering $18.2 billion since 1995. To put that figure in perspective, $18.2 billion is enough to buy 2.9 billion Twinkies every year - 21 for every single American taxpayer. 

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News Release | US PIRG | Foods


Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 21 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to U.S. PIRG’s new report, Apples to Twinkies 2012. Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy half of an apple per taxpayer.

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