For decades, private sugar companies have received enormous government handouts via the U.S. Farm Bill — to the detriment of clean air and water in Florida.
Through controls on production and strict import limits, the cost of the federal sugar program is shifted to consumers and taxpayers. Windfall profits generated by the sugar industry, led by Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar, are then used to buy influence over lawmakers.
This unjust, outdated policy enriches billionaire-backed sugar companies at the expense of the iconic, life-sustaining Everglades and nearby communities.
It’s a double-whammy for South Florida taxpayers, who also foot the bill to clean polluted water from sugarcane fields south of Lake Okeechobee. Meanwhile, people who live near those sugarcane fields suffer some of the worst smoke pollution in the country due to pre-harvest cane burning.
Recent investigative reporting has detailed industry abuses and the toxic algae crisis on Lake Okeechobee that stems from the stranglehold sugar lobbyists have on Florida water policy.
Sugar’s cycle of abuse and pollution has continued for decades. But this year, we have a chance to end it.
Every 5 years Congress renews the Farm Bill. The current Farm Bill expires in 2023. We’re calling on Congress to stop subsidizing the environmental and human-rights abuses of Big Sugar by ending the sugar program.
By signing this petition, I’m hereby asking Congress to end the sugar program in the next Farm Bill, in the name of environmental justice and the Everglades.