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ASN Health and Nutrition Policy Newsletter
Week of
April 9, 2018       
In This Issue
ASN News
Congressional Action
Administrative Action
National Initiatives
Meetings
Funding Opportunities
International
ASN News
ASN Farm Bill Webinar
Register now for the ASN webinar Farm Bill and Beyond: Advocating for Nutrition and Research , which will be held on Tuesday, April 10 at 1:00pm Eastern! This webinar aims to inform ASN members about the 2018 Farm Bill and its impact on nutrition-related work and research. This webinar will provide an overview of how the Farm Bill is crafted, explore the nutrition-related elements of the Farm Bill, and review the overall importance and impact of advocacy for nutrition and research, as well as provide insight to advocacy best practices and approaches to overcome challenges. Speakers include Drs.Cathie Woteki and Lauren Au, Jerold Mande, and Tamara Fucile.
 
2018 Farm Bill Nutrition Research/ Education Advocacy Day
The American Society for Nutrition is partnering with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, and the Food Trust to host a Hill Day on Tuesday, April 24th in Washington, D.C. We encourage all interested ASN members to participate! Participants will meet with congressional offices between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm to advocate for nutrition research and nutrition education in the 2018 Farm Bill.  
 
The more the merrier-and more the congressional offices we can meet with to help them learn about the importance of nutrition research! Register today to join us ! Please also register for the prep webinar  on Friday, April 13th at 2:00 pm Eastern to prepare all participants for the day of action. Registration closes by Tuesday, April 10th. Please contact Sarah Ohlhorst , MS, RD, ASN Senior Director of Advocacy and Science Policy, with any questions. Please contact TenĂ¡sha Williams-Ebrahimkhel with any questions regarding registration.
 
Examining Special Nutritional Requirements in Disease States - Available Online
ASN recently co-sponsored a two-day public workshop  hosted by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to explore the evidence for special nutritional requirements in disease states and medical conditions that cannot be met with a normal diet.
 
ASN DGAC Nominations
ASN seeks the names of highly qualified nutrition scientists to consider for nomination to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), including individuals who have previously served. Although the request for nominations has not been made publicly available at this time, the Federal Register intent to establish the 2020 DGAC will likely be published mid-spring or early summer. 
 
E xpertise will likely be sought in categories similar to years past: behavioral health and psychology: chronic disease prevention (e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, CVD, osteoporosis); energy balance/physical activity; epidemiology; food science/safety/technology; general medicine; maternal, perinatal, and pediatric nutrition; gerontology; nutrient bioavailability/biochemistry/physiology; nutrition education; public health; and evidence review methodology. Suggested individuals should be: knowledgeable of current scientific nutrition research; respected and published experts in their field; familiar with the Guidelines; and have demonstrated interest in public health through research and/or education. 
 
Please send Sarah D. Ohlhorst, MS, RD, Senior Director of Advocacy and Science Policy (sohlhorst@nutrition.org), the names of qualified individuals for ASN consideration.

Congressional Action
Congress on Spring Break
Members of Congress have been working in their Districts for the past two weeks and return to Washington on April 11. Many speculate that the omnibus appropriations bill was the last "legislative train out of the station" for this year; however, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) reportedly may consider the Farm Bill on April 18. The deep divide among House and Senate members over proposals to change the eligibility requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients that some estimate will reduce SNAP by $20 billion, signals to some that no definitive action on the Farm Bill will transpire this Congress. Members will head home for elections October 12 and take off the month of August and much of September to be in their districts. Chairman Conaway has not yet introduced a Farm Bill which indicates certain proposals are still in play, especially given the need for the bill to be cost neutral. One possible catalyst could be the need for special payments to farmers hurt by trade retaliation; however, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) has indicated that the strict budget limitations on the development of the Farm Bill complicate adding "special payments" to the bill.
 
Front-of-Package Labeling Back in Play
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced the Food Labeling Modernization Act, H.R. 5425 , which would update front-of-package labeling requirements. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) plans to introduce the Senate companion bill when the Senate reconvenes.

Administrative Action
CDC Seeks Experts in Diet and Nutrition for LEPAC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is soliciting nominations for membership on the Lead Exposure and Prevention Advisory Committee (LEPAC). The LEPAC consists of 15 Federal and non-Federal experts in fields associated with lead screening, the prevention of lead exposure, and services for individuals and communities affected by lead exposure.
 
Nominations are being sought for individuals who have expertise and qualifications necessary to contribute to the accomplishment of the committee's objectives in the fields of diet and nutrition, epidemiology, toxicology, mental health, pediatrics, early childhood education, special education, and environmental health. Members may be invited to serve for three-year terms. Selection of members is based on candidates' qualifications to contribute to the accomplishment of LEPAC objectives. Nominations for membership on the LEPAC must be sent to CDC no later than April 15, 2018. For consideration to be nominated by ASN, please send your name, qualifications, and CV to ASN by Thursday, April 12.
 
Gottlieb Announces FDA Nutrition Focus
At the Consumer Federation of America's National Food Policy Conference, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the FDA Nutrition Innovation Strategy of incremental actions to empower consumers and strengthen science-based claims. He will focus on defining the terms healthy and natural, addressing sodium in foods, labeling added sugar, expanding health claims, reviewing standards of identity, and helping consumers use labels. There was a particular focus on front of pack labeling and exploring ideas of an icon for "healthy", defining "natural", simplifying terms (i.e. Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12) on food ingredients lists, and reducing the sodium targets. 
 
USDA Expands Focus on Program Integrity across All Nutrition Programs
As part of Agriculture Secretary Perdue's strategic goal of ensuring that programs are delivered efficiently, effectively and with integrity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
announced an enhanced focus on program integrity, that will include renewed attention on transparency, payment accuracy, fraud and waste prevention, and improved quality control. Acting Deputy Under Secretary Lipps announced his intention to create a new position of Chief Integrity Officer to manage oversight, improvements, and overhaul integrity strategy. This position will be located in the Office of the Administrator at FNS and will be tasked with overseeing integrity initiatives in all 15 federal feeding programs administered by FNS.
                                                                           
NHLBI RFI on Emerging and Outstanding Investigator Awards
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released a Request for Information ( RFI ) seeking feedback on the Institute's implementation of the "Emerging Investigator Award (EIA)" and "Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA)," both programs run under the R35 mechanism. Based on the call for information, comments received will be used to guide updates to R35 Funding Opportunity Announcements for future funding cycles, and specifically seeks input from investigators who applied for and received the EIA/OIA as well as those who opted not to apply. Responses are due by April 18, 2018.
 
FDA to Define Milk
One provision of the $1.3-trillion omnibus spending bill gave FDA 180 days to define milk and milk products and determine how to enforce compliance with the product name. This language was taken from the DAIRY PRIDE Act which states that "milk" is "lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows." Some groups are looking for the removal of the term "milk" from milk alternatives like soymilk and almond milk.
 
CDC Data Links Death with Inadequate Physical Activity
CDC released a new study , which found that 8% of deaths in the U.S. were associated with inadequate levels of physical activity. This percentage varied with age; the study attributed 10% of deaths among adults age 40-69 and 8% of deaths among adults age 70 or older to low levels of physical activity. This research supports previously published findings that conclude low levels of physical activity increase the risk of premature death.
 
Carrageenan Still Organic
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service released a rule stating that carrageenan can still be used in organic foods even though the most members of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted to remove the emulsifier from the approved additives list.
 
MMWR Heart Disease Death Rates Released
The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released , Heart Disease Death Rates Among Blacks and Whites Aged to 35 Years - United States, 1968-2015 . The report found that, "Although heart disease death rates decreased both for blacks and whites from 1968 to 2015, substantial differences in decreases were found by race and state. At the national level and in most states, blacks experienced smaller decreases in heart disease death rates than whites for the majority of the period. Overall, the black-white disparity in heart disease death rates increased from 1968 to 2005, with a modest decrease from 2005 to 2015."
 
USDA Clarifies Genome Editing Policy
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
  issued a statement providing clarification on USDA oversight of plants produced through innovative new breeding techniques which include techniques called genome editing. Under USDA's biotechnology regulations, USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests.
 
National Initiatives
Menu Labeling Research
A Cochrane   review  of nearly 30 studies found that menu labeling in restaurants reduces, on average, consumer purchases of calories by about 47 kcal (about 8 percent) per meal. This review was unable to determine a change in calories per meals from grocery stores or vending machines that posted calories. RAND also released a study which found that displaying calories on menus reduced the calories ordered by 30 kcal.
 
MAZON and UConn Food Bank Report Released
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity released a
report on the nutritional quality of foods distributed through food banks. The findings suggest that many food banks are working towards distributing healthy foods and educating donors.
 
CPSTF Recommends School Gardening
The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) has recommended school-based gardening interventions in combination with nutrition education to increase vegetable consumption among children. Gardening interventions provide children with hands-on experience planting, growing, and harvesting fruits and vegetables in an effort to increase their willingness to consume both.  
 
TFAH Releases Public Health Report on the Aging
Trust For America's Health (TFAH) has released a report, Creating an Age-Friendly Public Health System: Challenges, Opportunities, and Next Steps , in collaboration with the John A. Hartford Foundation. The report is the result of a convening, "A Public Health Framework to Support the Improvement of the Health and Well-being of Older Adults," in Tampa, Florida, October 2017 when national, state, and local public health officials; aging experts, advocates, and service providers; and health care officials came together to discuss how public health could contribute to an age-friendly society and improve the health and well-being of older adults.
 
FRAC Releases Health Care Fact Sheet
Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) has released a fact sheet,
Addressing Food Insecurity in Health Care Settings: Key Actions & Tools for Success . The brief highlights four key actions to support partnerships to improve food security and health.
 
Farm Bill Law Enterprise Releases SNAP Reports
The Farm Bill Law Enterprise, a partnership between eight law school programs, has released a set of reports and articles with recommendations to "advance shared public values." The publications cover food access, public health, agricultural economics, productivity, risk management, transparency, accountability, food waste, and climate change.

Meetings
Making Data Machine-Readable
The National Agricultural Library's Ag Data Commons continues its monthly webinar series with Making Data Machine-Readable  on April 24 at 1:00 pm ET. The Ag Data Commons is the catalog for USDA Research, Education, and Economics mission area funded research data.
 
Sodium Warnings Webinar
The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Association of County & City Health Officials will co-host a webinar entitled, Sneaky Sodium: Empowering Consumers with Sodium Warnings on Restaurant Meals , on May 9 from 2:00-3:00pm ET to engage local health departments and other sodium-reduction stakeholders on sodium warnings in the restaurant setting.
 
National Academies to Explore Weight in the Armed Forces
On May 7, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions will host a workshop to explore the challenges posed by obesity and overweight in the armed forces and opportunities to overcome them. The workshop will examine the magnitude of obesity and overweight in the military, highlight existing approaches that support a healthy weight, and explore innovative cross-sector opportunities to overcome this challenge.
 
IFPRI 2018 Global Report of Food Crises Release
On April 27, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Food Security Information Network (FSIN) will hold their DC release of the   Global Report on Food Crises. The report provides food security and nutrition analyses from countries that are chronically vulnerable to food crises and have large populations facing acute food insecurity. The report draws attention to rising levels of food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly associated with conflict and the impact of extreme climate events.

Funding Opportunities
HINTS Data Users Conference
The fifth
HINTS Data Users Conference , sponsored by the NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI), will take place on September 13-14, 2018 at the NIH Main Campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference will be an opportunity to present and discuss research using Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) data and to highlight the role of HINTS research in public health and clinical care. Abstracts deadline extended to April 20.
 
Evidence for Action: Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health
Evidence for Action (E4A) , a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, funds research that expands the evidence base needed to build a Culture of Health. Our mission is to support rigorously designed quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research that yields convincing findings regarding the population health, well-being, and equity impacts of specific policies, programs and partnerships. No application deadline.

International
UK Soda Tax Goes into Effect
On April 6, 2018, the United Kingdom's (UK) Soda Drinks Industry Levy went into effect. The tax is on beverages with less than 1.2% alcohol by volume that contain added sugar. Drinks with five or more grams of sugar per 100 mL are taxed 18 cents per liter and drinks with eight or more grams of sugar per 100 mL are taxed 24 cents per liter. Sugar includes glucose, sucrose, and sugar containing substances such as honey. Drinks that are not liable for the levy include 100% fruit or vegetable juice and drinks with at least 75% milk. The Washington Post has reported that many soda manufacturers are already cutting back on the sugar content of drinks.

Soda Tax Delayed in Ireland
Ireland was set to initiate a soda tax on the same day as the UK but has had to delay due to the need for additional European Commission approval to ensure the tax does not infringe on European Union State aid law. The tax is now scheduled to go in to effect on May 1, 2018.
 
India Releases Sports Nutrition Regulations
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released a final regulation to hold retailers accountable for illegal performance enhancing substances in sports nutrition products. According to Food Navigator-Asia , this is FSSAI's response to wide-spread doping throughout Indian sports. The regulations will apply to both on and offline sales.