Some of America's biggest food companies say the U.S. could "virtually run out of sugar" if the Obama administration doesn't ease import restrictions amid soaring prices for the key commodity.I am deeply suspicious of these "sky is falling" threats issued by Kraft, General Mills and other companies. Having said that, I also think it's ridiculous in a country where we have deregulated airlines and other high-cost consumer markets that we would continue to use taxpayer subsidies to protect the domestic sugar industry.
. . . The companies threatened to jack up consumer prices and lay off workers if the Agriculture Department doesn't allow them to import more tariff-free sugar.
The price supports for sugar are a major reason why so many food companies are driven to rely heavily on high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that many health and dietary analysts believe is fueling obesity and poor eating habits in general.