23rd International Sugar Symposium Discusses Farm Bill

Published online: Aug 25, 2006 ASA
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ASHEVILLE, N.C.-Extension of America's current farm policy was the main topic of discussion at the 23rd International Sweetener Symposium. Congress is more likely to extend the Farm Bill since World Trade Organization (WTO) talks have collapsed, experts said. Louisiana and Florida sugar producers attending the meeting said they were concerned that hurricane rebuilding efforts in rural areas would be derailed without an extension of sugar policy. Speakers also noted that the likelihood of a Farm Bill continuation is bolstered by the popularity of current legislation in agricultural circles. The American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, and American Sugar Alliance were among the groups that spoke at the annual meeting in favor of the Farm Bill extension. Congressman Collin Peterson (MN), the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said that the sugar policy would likely continue as a no-cost program. The Symposium was hosted by the American Sugar Alliance, a national coalition of growers, processors, and refiners of sugarbeets and sugarcane, accounting for 146,000 American jobs in 19 states. This year there were nearly 400 Symposium attendees.