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Will Big Corn Call Katie Couric a Flake Too?

Friday, January 8, 2010

The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric aired a piece on Thursday (Jan. 8 ) called Where America Stands on Obesity. The report cites many factors for the nation's current obesity epidemic, including some that haven't gotten much attention.

Kelly Brownell, who studies obesity at Yale University, says the government doesn't help by subsidizing corn -- an ingredient in virtually every sweetener. Corn farmers were paid $56 billion [EWG link] over the last ten years by the federal government to grow their crop.

Produce farmers? Not a dime.

"If you go to McDonald's today, you can buy a quarter-pounder with cheese meal -- that means the large drink and the large french fries -- for less than it costs to buy a salad and a bottle of water," Brownell said. "There's something wrong with that picture."

In recent months, statements by Martha Stewart, Michael Pollan and Anthony Bourdain have irked the folks over at the National Corn Growers Association by making the same points that the CBS Evening News report did: Using taxpayer funds to cheapen unhealthy calories while giving no federal support to fresh fruits and vegetables is a recipe for disaster.

What will the corn growers say once they digest this latest piece of news?

Watch CBS News Videos Online