In response to reports that USDA may be forced to purchase 400,000 tons of sugar from domestic producers, the Sweetener Users Association (SUA) released the following statement:

“The current volatility in the US sugar market and the potential for loan forfeitures are the direct result of an outdated and unbalanced U.S. sugar policy, which USDA is forced by law to administer.

“In 2008, Congress passed a farm bill, which severely restricted USDA’s flexibility in administering the sugar program. The market-distorting sugar provisions included in the bill sent U.S. refined sugar prices soaring to previously unheard-of levels and created short supplies over the past four years, and now are responsible for excess sugar on the market and the prospect of loan forfeitures.

“Under Secretary Michael Scuse and his colleagues at USDA have worked to achieve greater balance, transparency and clarity in program administration, within the mandated restraints.

“We urge Congress to take the opportunity to reform the US sugar program this year to provide USDA with much-needed flexibility and to help ensure America’s sugar policy works for sugar users, producers and consumers.”