Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2018) – In a letter to the lead sponsors of the Sugar Policy Modernization Act in the House and Senate, 10 leading environmental organizations expressed support for the bill to restore balance to the Everglades.
Signers of the letter include Bullsugar, the Center for Biological Diversity, Everglades Trust, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Florida Wildlife Foundation, National Parks Conservation Association, Reef Relief, Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, Sierra Club and Sierra Club Broward Group.
The groups wrote to Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Danny Davis (D-IL). Click here for the full text of the letter. Excerpts from the letter follow:
“… While there are certainly other factors at play, mass production of sugarcane in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) south of Lake Okeechobee remains a great impediment to efforts by the federal and state agencies to restore the Everglades through implementation of the congressionally authorized Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Working around sugar interests has come at a much greater expense both of time and taxpayers’ money.
“We are not advocating for the removal of sugarcane in the EAA. Rather, we ask that balance be restored to give the Everglades and our coastal estuaries a fighting chance. This [Sugar Policy Modernization Act] provides that balance.
“… The Act will not repeal the sugar price support program or quota limits on foreign sugar entering the United States. Rather, it will loosen the very tight controls on sugar production. This long-awaited legislation will make the federal sugar program more oriented to the free market and in line with the type of fair competition we expect of other industries. It will reduce the taxpayer-funded political influence currently harming government and public interests.
“We join the growing number of stakeholders in urging your colleagues to take action against the longstanding advantage offered to the sugar industry by supporting the Sugar Policy Modernization Act of 2017, amending the 2018 Farm Bill.”
The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy (AFSP) is a broad-based coalition advocating to modernize the outdated and outrageous U.S. sugar program. Formed by a sizeable group of small, family-owned businesses and manufacturers, retailers, food and beverage companies, trade associations, environmental advocates, taxpayer watchdog organizations, responsible government advocates, think tanks and other organizations, the group’s goal is to help level the playing field for American manufacturers and their families when it comes to being able to create jobs.
To learn more about the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy and the need for sugar reform, please visit FairSugarPolicy.org.
Click here to view a one-minute animated video that explains the sugar policy issue.
Click here to learn more about the overall impact of the sugar program on the state of Florida.