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News Beat: Legislation Would Remove Food Pyramid From USDA

April 24, 2008

2 Min Read
News Beat: Legislation Would Remove Food Pyramid From USDA

Legislation Would Remove Food Pyramid From USDA
A bill in the U.S. Senate would move oversight for the food guide pyramid and other dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the National Academies of Science. The Healthy Lifestyles Act, introduced May 11 by Sen. Peter G. Fitzgerald, R-Ill., and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., would place the independent Institute of Medicine of the NAS in charge of developing and publishing the guidelines, the first of which would be due in a year. Fitzgerald said the legislation would ?remove politics and special interests? from national nutrition advice by taking that responsibility away from the USDA, whose primary charter is to promote American agricultural products. ?With 64 percent of the people in our country classified as overweight or obese, it is obvious that the dietary guidelines and federal nutrition monitoring programs have failed,? Fitzgerald said.

Methyl Bromide Still Allowed on U.S. Fields
The United Nations granted a reprieve to conventional fruit and vegetable growers, allowing the United States and 10 other countries to continue the use of methyl bromide, a soil fumigant widely used on strawberries, tomatoes and other produce. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer had banned methyl bromide in developed countries effective Jan. 1, but the temporary exemption will allow U.S. farmers to use the chemical through 2005. Proponents of methyl bromide use argued the chemical is one of the most safe and useful in horticulture and its ban will put U.S. farmers at a competitive disadvantage to growers in developing countries. Opponents say methyl bromide use contributes to global warming and endangers the health of workers and consumers.

DHEA Excluded From Steroid Legislation
Federal legislation to tighten steroid regulations is moving through the U.S. House of Representatives, but H.R. 3866, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act, contains an exemption for DHEA. The bill, which bans the use of steroids or steroid precursors in or near sports facilities, passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce April 22 and will move to the full House for a vote. It defines the restricted steroids as ?any drug or hormonal substance, chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone, other than estrogens, progestins, corticosteroids and dehydroepiandrosterone.? Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., had introduced an amendment placing a time limit on the DHEA exemption, but it failed.


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 6/p. 9

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