In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites
- The W.K. Kellogg Foundation released a survey of 800 American adults that revealed some interesting patterns in fruit and vegetable consumption. About 70% of respondents said they eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables than they did five years ago. 45% said they grew their own produce in the last year. And 83% said that the government should shift its funding towards smaller sustainable farms and away from large farm businesses. More information and statistics can be found in this infographic.
- A judge ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission in a complaint against POM Wonderful LLC, maker of POM pomegranate juice and supplements. The FTC charged that POM's claims that their products could treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction are not well supported. Expert testimony revealed much uncertainty around these claims, and the judge ruled that consumers had no way of determining the validity of the health claims in advertisements.
- The Union of Concerned Scientists released an infographic detailing the increase in American crop production and funding that would be necessary to provide the USDA's daily recommendations of fruit and vegetables to all Americans. The necessary increase in acreage and funding is comparatively quite small next to the acreage and funding allocated to "big ag". Additionally, the UCS claims that 189,000 new jobs would be created with new investment in small agriculture.
- Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York proposed legislation to eliminate fingerprinting of food stamp recipients in New York City. The state no longer requires fingerprinting, and New York City and Arizona are the only two jurisdictions in the country that require fingerprinting of food stamp applicants. The city maintains that fingerprinting reduces fraud and saves the city money. Public comments on this measure will be accepted until early July.
- An agreement between Colombia and the U.S. now allows for tariff-free trade between the two countries. This extension of trade relations allows for many American food products, such as chicken, soybeans, and beef, to enter Colombia duty-free. Some Colombian farmers worry that American products will be priced substantially lower than Colombian equivalents, threatening farmers in the Latin American country. Additionally, some hygiene certifications used to monitor Colombian food products are generally not recognized in the U.S., making exports more difficult.
About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her work has also been featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.