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Federal farm bill deserved to die

U.S. CongressSteny Hoyer

I applaud Rep. Steny Hoyer for voting to cut Big Agriculture's wasteful subsidies ("New farm bill dies in House in GOP revolt," June 21).

Since 1995, $18 billion in taxpayer subsidies have gone to junk food ingredients such as soy oils and high-fructose corn syrup. This wasteful spending has been a major contributor to childhood obesity. One in five young people are obese.

I am a mother of a two-year-old boy. As a mother, I want the best for my son. However, the federal farm bill has given 4 percent of agribusinesses 74 percent of the agricultural subsidies since 1995. This money is not going to small family farms but to large corporations instead.

The $18 billion in subsidies is enough for every taxpayer to buy 19 Twinkies a year, while apples are the only fresh fruit (or vegetable) that has received decent subsidies. However, the equivalent is less than a quarter of a Red Delicious apple each year.

This is terrible. As a mother I'd rather send my son to school with an apple in his lunch box than a Twinkie. When the farm bill expires in September, Congress should not renew this wasteful spending.

Ann Nafistian, Davidsonville

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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