The Biden administration is hosting the first White House conference on hunger and nutrition in more than 50 years to discuss a national strategy that officials will unveil ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.
The strategy’s goal is to end hunger in the United States and reduce diet-related disease among Americans by 2030, but the White House has yet to say how the strategy will be implemented. work and kept many details of the day’s meeting secret.
“We need to engage every segment of society…and we want to use every lever at our disposal to move forward,” Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, said during a Friday briefing. .
Speakers will include President Joe Biden, White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Chef José Andrés.
The conference will begin with an overview of strategy, then feature a series of panel discussions on strategy and the five pillars of the conference: Making sure all Americans can afford the food they need; integrating nutrition and health; make it easier for people to choose healthy foods; improve physical condition; and the expansion of nutritional research.
The afternoon session will feature small breakout groups where conference participants will “identify actions they will take individually and collectively to help achieve the goal of ending hunger and reducing disease. related to food”, according to the agenda. As of Sunday morning, the conference website still did not list the members of the morning panels or the names of the conference attendees who will participate in the working groups.
A task force formed to advise the conference issued recommendations in August that included a call for the government to require nutrition labeling on the front of food packages, relax SNAP eligibility rules and make school meals free for more people. ‘students. The task force’s 129-page report also recommended scrapping ‘lowest bid requirements’ for schools that discourage them from buying locally produced food or considering environmental concerns when buying. of products.
The International Fresh Produce Association was included in a ‘strategic group’ that provided input to the working group, but other farm groups lobbied for a role in the conference, citing the role of farmers in the chain. of food supply. Product groups are likely to have an interest in whether some of the strategy’s recommendations are adopted: For example, the sugar and dairy sectors oppose mandatory labeling on the front of the packaging.
“Agriculture was a key partner in the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health – we again stand ready to work with government and private sector partners to identify and act on measures that can lead to a healthier America in 2030,” groups including the American Soybean Association, the National Wheat Growers Association and USA Rice said in a letter earlier this month to Biden.
Hill’s to-do list includes CR, extending global food security
On Capitol Hill this week, Congress has until Friday to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government fully operational after the new fiscal year begins on Saturday.
Democrats have so far been unable to agree on whether to include provisions requested by Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., to expedite the clearance of pipelines and transmission lines electric. The reforms would benefit fossil fuels as well as renewable energy and carbon sequestration projects.
“It’s a chance of a lifetime for us to have energy independence, … making sure we can take care of the American people with lower energy prices, producing more oil, producing more gas. But we have to have permit reform if you’re going to deliver it,” Manchin said on Fox News on Sunday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., insisted on including the permission reforms in the resolution continues to honor a deal with Manchin. But the provisions face opposition from progressive Democrats as well as Republicans.
The House, meanwhile, will vote this week on a reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act, which provides direction and funding authorization for the Feed the Future program, which was launched under the Obama administration in 2010 to developing agriculture and food systems in low-income countries.
The law was originally passed in 2016 and reauthorized in 2018. The bill the House will consider will reauthorize Feed the Future through fiscal year 2028.
The bill also increases the authorized level of funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Emergency Food Security Program to $3.9 billion per year, beginning in fiscal year 24. The fund, which is currently authorized at $2.8 billion per year, is widely used to provide cash and voucher assistance to deal with crises around the world. Congress provided additional funding to the program this year to respond to the food crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Action set on USDA nominees
Meanwhile, the Senate Agriculture Committee will vote on three nominees on Tuesday, including Oregon Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor for undersecretary of commerce and foreign agricultural affairs.
Other candidates under consideration are Jose Emilio Esteban, a longtime veteran of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, appointed Undersecretary for Food Safety, and Vincent Garfield Logan, appointed Board Member. of Directors of the Farm Credit Administration, the watchdog agency. for the agricultural credit system.
It’s unclear when the three will get a final vote in the Senate.
Farm groups have pushed Senate leaders to vote this week on appointing longtime USDA adviser Doug McKalip as chief agricultural trade negotiator in the Office of the US Trade Representative.
Somewhere else, Agri Pulse and the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City will host its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in Kansas City on Monday.
Speakers and panelists will include USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer, as well as USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley; former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; Kip Tom, former US Ambassador to UN Food Programs; Kanlaya Barr, director of business economics for John Deere; Erin Borror, economist for the US Meat Export Federation; Nate Kauffman, vice president and Omaha branch manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; and Arlan Suderman, chief commodities analyst for StoneX.
Here’s a list of agriculture- or rural-related events scheduled for this week in Washington and elsewhere (all times EDT):
Monday, September 26
Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum sponsored by Agri Pulse and the Kansas City Agricultural Affairs Council.
International Fresh Produce Association Annual Conference in Washington, through Wednesday, Grand Hyatt Washington.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Annual Meeting, through Thursday, Saratoga Springs, NY.
4 p.m. – USDA releases weekly crop progress report.
Tuesday, September 27
10 a.m. – Farm Foundation Webinar on Antimicrobial Stewardship.
Time to be determined – Senate Agriculture Committee meeting to consider applications to USDA and Farm Credit Administration.
Time to be determined – Meeting of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to consider the nomination of Jessica Looman as Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.
Wednesday, September 28
White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.
Thursday September 29
8:30 a.m. – USDA releases weekly export sales report.
9:30 a.m. – House Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing on Farm Bill Research Programs, 1300 Longworth.
10 a.m. – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on bills related to various national forests and wildfires, 366 Dirksen.
Friday September 30
For more news, visit: www.Agri-Pulse.com.