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Statement of Illinois PIRG Field Director Celeste Meiffren on the Senate vote today to approve the 2012 Farm Bill:
“Illinois PIRG is disappointed in the Senate’s approval of the 2012 Farm Bill, which will send tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to Big Ag. The Senate missed a golden opportunity to tackle the problem of wasteful agricultural subsidies, which have cost taxpayers $260 billion since 1995. Instead, this bill recommits to taxpayer support for the largest agribusinesses.
“Adding insult to injury, the subsidies continue to be heavily tilted towards crops like corn and soy, which are often processed into junk food ingredients. At a time when one in three American children is overweight or obese, taxpayers should not spend billions subsidizing additives like high fructose corn syrup.
“The Senate considered amendments that would have set limits on these programs and ensured that they only went to small farmers, but rejected these common-sense proposals in favor of continued corporate handouts.
“We now look to the U.S. House of Representatives and call on them to pass a Farm Bill that is fiscally prudent and ends subsidies for large, profitable agribusinesses.”
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