Aug 2, 2010
03:37 PMThe Wind Machine
An Icy Food Fight
The timely reauthorization of a federal child nutrition law is supported by a broad spectrum of people and organizations, from First Lady Michelle Obama to the United Fresh Produce Association. If a new bill is not enacted by this September 30th, the final day of the government’s current fiscal year, existing legislation on this topic will lapse.
On July 15 an amendment was adopted to H.R. 5504, “The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act,” by the House’s Committee on Education & Labor that would make it permissible for frozen fruit to be added to a specific school nutrition program, one especially designed for fresh fruits and vegetables. The United Fresh Produce Association was not amused.
The local angle is this: the controversial amendment was offered by two Pacific Northwest representatives, David Wu (D) of Oregon and Cathy McMorris Rogers (R) of Washington and strongly supported by the American Frozen Food Institute. Kraig Naasz, who worked for the Northwest Horticultural before returning to Washington, D.C. in 1998, is the AFFI’s president.
It will be interesting to see what the ultimate Congressional policy decision will be concerning the fresh fruit and vegetable snack program: will it remain focused on fresh, or will it be expanded to processed products? And, while sorting this out, how much heat will be generated between these two national food associations, United and AFFI?