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Organic Consumers Association

Why Are Twinkies Cheaper Than Carrots?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page and our USDA Watch page, and our Big Box Retailers page.

Why is Coca-Cola often more affordable than clean water? Why are candy bars and cigarettes often more readily available than fresh fruits and vegetables?

If you want to eat healthfully, you have to fight an uphill battle. Why are government subsidies pushing in the wrong direction?

Who would it hurt if we enacted policies that actually encouraged the foods that are healthiest for people and for our world? Who opposes the efforts to make it easier, rather than harder, for people to make healthy food choices?

Government Policy Consistently Favors Big Agribusiness

As I describe in my new book No Happy Cows, agrichemical companies, factory farms and junk food manufacturers are quite happy with things the way they are. Thanks to their lobbying clout, government policies consistently favor the financial interests of these special interests over public health, even though the result is trillions of dollars in additional health care expenses.

Here's an example: In just the last two years, 24 states have considered legislation that would place a tax on soft drinks. These "soda taxes" would discourage consumption of drinks high in sugar, thus reducing obesity and health care costs. And they would also raise money that could be used to subsidize healthier foods. But in every single state, the legislation has been defeated. PepsiCo Inc., the Coca-Cola Company, and the American Beverage Association have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to determine the outcome.

"In the political arena, one side is winning the war on child obesity," a new Reuters report on the food lobby begins. "The side with the fattest wallets."


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