In the news

Georgia PIRG Education Fund
Georgia Public Broadcasting News
Jeanne Bonner

ATLANTA  —   The U.S. spent $260 billion on agriculture subsidies from 1995 to 2010.During the same period, taxpayers only spent $260 million on subsidies for fruits and vegetables. Georgia's produce farmers, for example, receive virtually no federal subsidies.

A new report says federal subsidies pay farmers to grow crops used in junk food that’s linked to high child obesity rates. The U.S. spent $6 billion on these subsidies last year.

Jessica Wilson is with the Georgia Public Interest Research Group. She says through the report, the organization is urging Congress to cut corn syrup, corn starch and soy oil subsidies when it reauthorizes the farm bill next year.

“The fact that we’re spending this much money subsidizing junk food demonstrates the need to reform our subsidies program and cut the wasteful spending,” she said.

Georgia received $142 million in farm subsidies last year, according to the Environmental Working Group. Only a small part goes to crops that produce items targeted in the report. The state’s cotton and peanut industries received the lion’s share of the subsidies. 

Farmers say they need some of the other subsidies because they cover crop loss, damage from natural disasters and other emergencies.

Support us

Your tax-deductible donation supports Georgia PIRG Education Fund’s work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, and the powerful interests that are blocking progress.

Learn More

You can also support Georgia PIRG Education Fund’s work through bequests, contributions from life insurance or retirement plans, securities contributions and vehicle donations. 

Georgia PIRG Education Fund 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 getting things done.