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Goodlatte expected to propose sugar amendment

Twenty-two sweetener user, environmental and taxpayer groups have written members of the House Agriculture Committee to urge support for a farm bill amendment to make changes to the sugar program.

In the letter the groups said that Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has written an amendment that would make “modest” changes to the program.

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives today expressed its strong opposition to “any amendment” that Goodlatte intends to introduce that would change current sugar programs in such a way as to effectively eliminate the program.

“Any House amendment similar to the Toomey amendment that we saw in the Senate would undermine a program that costs taxpayers nothing and would threaten the jobs thousands of Americans across the country,” said NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner. “The benefits of ending the sugar program would not go to U.S. consumers but rather to our foreign competitors, who are heavily subsidized.”

“The sugar program in the bill has evolved, like every other farm bill program, over the years, and has reached a balance to ensure adequate and safe supplies of sugar at very competitive prices,” Conner continued. “NCFC strongly urges members of the House Agriculture Committee to vote against any amendment to change the program.”