The recent column about sugar policy by Froma Harrop was full of erroneous facts and misinformed opinion.
Harrop contends, “Americans pay about three times the world price of sugar.”
But according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it would currently cost 3 cents per pound more to import sugar from the world market than to source it in America.
Harrop also says, “Many U.S. candy-makers have seen no choice but to move factories and their jobs to countries with normal sugar prices.”
In actuality, confectioners are currently increasing production and adding new jobs in America, according to a new study by University of Maryland professor Alexander Triantis.
Finally, Harrop explains that U.S. sugar policy increases food costs, which “amounts to a tax estimated at $3 billion a year.”
Again, this is completely false.
Thirty years ago, a candy bar cost 35 cents and candy companies paid 26 cents a pound for sugar.
Today, candy companies pay 25 cents for a pound of sugar, yet a candy bar costs $1.39. In other words, higher food prices have nothing to do with sugar, which is priced below 1980s levels.
Harrop is entitled to her opinions, but she is not entitled to making up and distorting facts.
Michael G. Melancon
sugar cane farmer