Stockpile the Snickers! America Might Run Out of Sugar!
That was the dire prediction made this week by a group of major food manufacturers such as Kraft, Hershey, Mars and General Mills, who claim that import restrictions will soon leave us bereft of the sweet stuff.
Apparently, domestic sugar supplies are falling dramatically (the Agriculture Department said this week that it expects US sugar supplies to drop 43 per cent in the next year), and, according to the manufacturers, unless the government starts allowing them to import more tariff-free sugar (currently there's a cap on the amount), they'll have to increase consumer prices and lay off workers.
However, some economists claim that the figures aren't accurate and that not only is there enough sugar to satisfy demand there's actually an excess of it in some parts of the country.
The debate comes at the end of a week when markets have seen sugar prices soar, reaching a 28-year high. Major sugar producers include Brazil, which has been blighted by heavy rain, and India, which has had the opposite problem--an unusually dry monsoon season.
The manufacturers' letter to Tom Vilsack, the US Secretary of Agriculture, signs off, "Please act now in the interest of all Americans". Which must be a comment in relation to the threat of jobs, because, surely, if there's anything we need less of, it's sugar?
And, while we're on the subject, why do the people in the above montage--from the Sugar Assocation's website--have such nice teeth? The word "irony" springs to mind.
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