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ASN Health and Nutrition Policy Newsletter
Week of
January 5, 2018       
In This Issue
ASN News
Congressional Action
Administrative Action
National Initiatives
Meetings
Funding Opportunities
International
ASN News
ASN Launches Understanding Nutritional Science Video Competition
The Understanding Nutritional Science competition promotes the creation of short videos that will ultimately help the lay public to better understand and evaluate hot topics in nutrition science. This video competition will increase awareness about the amount of false nutrition information in the media and provide the general public with tools that will encourage them to investigate nutrition information they come across in a scientific manner. Open to ASN members only: undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, medical interns, residents, or fellows, and early career professionals. Deadline to enter is February 28, 2018. Learn more online, including contest rules and guidelines: nutrition.org/contest
 
DGA Listening Session Comments Available
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) held a listening session on November 28, 2017 to hear feedback on the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine's independent study on the process to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Comments submitted , including comments from ASN, are now available on the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's Health and Medicine Division Study page.
 
US Department of Labor Needs Help on Occupation Expert Research
ASN has been asked by the U.S. Department of Labor to assist in an O*NET Occupation Expert research update of Dietitians and Nutritionists who may be asked to complete brief, objective questionnaires about the tasks, work context, and knowledge requirements of their occupation. DOL seeks qualified ASN members to assist in this project. O*NET needs volunteers who have at least 5 years' experience as a Dietitian or Nutritionist, as well as those who have once practiced and have moved on to teaching, training or supervising the occupation. Dietitians should be registered and licensed by their state where applicable, while Nutritionists should have either a Masters or PhD from a qualified academic nutrition program. If you would like to participate, meet the above criteria and could spend 90 minutes responding to a survey, please send your contact information to Sarah Ohlhorst at sohlhorst@nutrition.org.
 
O*NET or the Occupational Information Network is a free resource at www.onetonline.org that's provided by the DOL and used by millions for career exploration and job analysis (writing job descriptions or crafting your resume as well).  You can access the current summary of the occupation at the O*NET Database if you would like to see the type of information that will be updated in the upcoming data collection project.

LAST CALL for ASN Blogger Applications
Apply today to blog for ASN! ASN is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 class of student bloggers. Selected bloggers will serve from March 2018-March 2019. Applications are due this Monday, January 8, 2018! Applicants will be notified by March 1, 2018 regarding their application status. Visit the ASN blog to learn about recent styles of writing and read recent entries. Please send any questions to sohlhorst@nutrition.org.


Congressional Action
Major Tax Bill Passed; Now Talks Turn to FY 2018 Budget
After last minute negotiations, the Senate narrowly passed the $1.5 trillion tax reduction bill HR-1 (115)  by a vote of 51-48 and in the House by a vote of 227-205. The President signed the bill into law on December 22, 2017 and it took effect on January 1, 2018. The long-term impact on individuals, businesses, the economy and the nation's debt will unfold over the next year but many discussions about the need to reduce mandatory programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, farm subsidies, and federal food assistance began immediately.

Yet, making cuts in the budget is just not popular. Congress could not find consensus on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending bill that requires reductions and postponed debate until January 19th . The Continuing Resolution extends funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), National Health Service Corps, and Community Health Centers for the first two quarters of FY 2018 and pays for programs with a $750 million cut to the Prevention and Public Health Fund from FY 2019-FY 2022. Passing Congress before the adjournment was an $81 billion disaster supplemental for Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands that included provisions for:
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) is allocated $15 million to repair or rebuild non-federal medical research facilities,
  • Community Health Centers receive $60 million for building projects and operations,
  • SAMHSA gets $20 million to pay for behavioral health treatment, and
  • Cotton and dairy farmers receive support that would be paid by reducing ineligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients through new interstate database tracking system.
Health Care Reform Remains Top of Congress Priorities  
The ink was just dry on the repeal of the individual mandate in 2019, as part of the massive tax bill, when some Senators began strategizing how to return to efforts to pass an Obamacare repeal bill, possibly the Lindsey Graham (R-SC) bill introduced earlier in 2017 in the Senate. The Senate would need 60 votes to pass a health care bill and the Senate just swore in a new Democratic Senator, making the total count 49 Democrats to 51 Republicans, a very slim margin. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are also seeking to return to health care reform consideration with their bi-partisan bill to shore up insurance subsidies for low income individuals and make other changes.
 
 
Administrative Action
FDA Calls for Comments on New Proposal for Menu Labeling Guidance
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released new draft menu labeling guidance for the food industry, which "addresses calorie disclosure signage for self-service foods, including buffets and grab-and-go foods; reasonable basis, and the criteria for considering the natural variation of foods." Comments are due by January 8, 2018.
 
NIH Releases Inclusion across the Lifespan Guidance
The NIH has released revised guidelines regarding the, " Inclusion of Individuals Across the Lifespan as Participants in Research Involving Human Subjects ." In brief, the policy will require that individuals of all ages, including children and older adults, must be included in all human subject research conducted or supported by the NIH unless there are scientific or ethical reasons not to include them. In addition, data on participant age at enrollment must be provided in progress reports. This policy will be applicable to all competing grant applications submitted on or after January 25, 2019.
 
Also, read a recent NIH blog to determine if your research study meets the NIH definition of a clinical trial.
 
OMB Seeks Feedback on USDA Regulatory Reform
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has published its annual list of regulatory priorities for the USDA in 2018. A summary of the list explains that the USDA plans to remove three regulations for every one regulatory action the agency takes in 2018. This is referred to as "Better than 2:1" referring to the 2:1 ratio that was previously recommended by the administration. Comments on regulatory reform can be made through February 12, 2018. The list includes: changes to the Definitions and Use of Matching Funds sections to provide clarity on allowable uses of matching funds for National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grants; relaxing stocking requirements for small stores accepting SNAP; GMO-labeling requirements; and work requirements for SNAP recipients that are able-bodied adults without dependents. Submit comments on the definition of matching funds for NIFA through January 12, 2018.
 
CDC Releases Adult Obesity Prevalence
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has
released new prevalence data for adults with obesity from 2011-2014. The data is available by both household income and education.
 
USDA Withdraws Certain Proposed Rules and Actions
The USDA has announced that it is withdrawing certain advance notice of proposed rulemakings (ANPRM) and proposed rules that were either published in the Federal Register more than 4 years ago without subsequent action or determined to no longer be candidates for final action. The nutrition related rules being withdrawn are as follows: Farmers' Market Promotion Program; Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information; Beef Promotion and Research; and National School Lunch Program: Reimbursement for snacks in afterschool care programs.
 
IG Recommends FDA Recall Overhaul
The Office of the Inspector General (IG) at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has recommended that the FDA overhaul their recall process. The report titled, " The Food and Drug Administration's Food-Recall Process Did Not Always Ensure the Safety of the Nation's Food Supply ," identified deficiencies in FDA's oversight of recall initiation, monitoring of recalls, and the recall information captured and maintained in FDA's electronic recall data system, the Recall Enterprise System.
 
CDC Forbidden Words
A report in the
Washington Post stated that administrators at the CDC received a memo indicating that they were no longer allowed to use the words "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based" or "science-based" in their budget. The director of the CDC, Brenda Fitzgerald, has denied such claims.
 
FDA Proposes New Enforcement of Homeopathic Drugs
The FDA issued draft guidance for the FDA Staff and Industry for Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic . To protect consumers who choose to use homeopathic products, this proposed new approach would update the FDA's existing policy to better address situations where homeopathic treatments are being marketed for serious diseases and/or conditions but where the products have not been shown to offer clinical benefits. It also covers situations where products labeled as homeopathic contain potentially harmful ingredients or do not meet current good manufacturing practices.
 
USDA Expands Flexibility, Encourages Program Integration in SNAP Administration
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued national program guidance that gives SNAP state operators new flexibility to make their operations more efficient while improving customer service. SNAP is unique among federal programs in that the law requires state civil servants to certify applicant households for benefits. The new guidance clarifies that while certification decisions must be made by state employees, FNS is expanding the possible use of contracted private-sector staff to provide basic case-specific information.
 
APHIS Listening Sessions on Third-Party Inspections
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will be holding four in person and one virtual listening session to solicit public comment to assist them in developing criteria for using third-party inspections (e.g., AAALAC) as a factor when determining facility inspection frequency. Any person interested in making public comments may do so; they will also accept written comments. The listening sessions will take place in Santa Clara, CA (January 18), Riverdale, MD (February 8), Kansas City, MO (February 22), and Tampa, FL (March 8). The phone-in session will occur on March 14.
 
 
National Initiatives
National Academies Proceedings from Treating Obesity Workshop
The Roundtable on Obesity Solutions held a workshop in Washington, DC, titled " The Challenge of Treating Obesity and Overweight: A Workshop ." The proceedings summarize the workshop's invited presentations and discussions that explored what is known about current obesity treatment approaches and the challenges involved in implementing them, including their effectiveness; payment for services; training of the workforce that provides the services; and health equity issues involved in treatment.
 

Meetings
Reproducibility and Replicability in Science Meeting Dates Announced
The National Academies has released future meeting dates for the project on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science. Future meetings will be held on February 22, April 18, May 31, and July 24, 2018 in Washington, DC.
 
SHAPE America National Convention and Expo
The Society of Health and Physical Educators will hold their
annual meeting March 20-24, 2018 in Nashville, TN.
 
Public Health New Year Webinar
The American Public Health Association (APHA), Prevention Institute, Public Health Institute, and Trust for America's Health are holding a webinar,  New Year's Resolutions for Public Health: Reflecting Back on 2017 and Moving Forward in 2018 , on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 4:00-5:00 PM EST . The webinar will focus on what the public health community has learned from challenges faced in the past year, and how to best seize on opportunities moving forward.
 
Technology Transfer Evolution: Driving Economic Prosperity Webinar
The National Academies Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) is holding a free webinar on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 from 1:00-2:00 PM EST. GUIRR will discuss the findings and recommendations of a new report from the Tech Transfer Working Group of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities on how university leaders and governing boards should think about purposes and success indicators for university engagement in innovation and technology transfer.
 
Exploring the Evidence on Dietary Patterns Webinar Rescheduled
Due to technical difficulties, this webinar on Exploring the Evidence on Dietary Patterns: The Interplay of What We Eat and Health has been rescheduled for Thursday, January 25, 2018, 2:00-3:00 PM EST. Kellie O. Casavale, PhD, RD, Nutrition Advisor, Division of Prevention Science, HHS, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion will present on dietary patterns.


Funding Opportunities
Healthy Aging Summit Call for Abstracts
The American College of Preventive Medicine has released a call for abstracts for its 2018 Healthy Aging Summit. The Summit will focus on keeping Americans healthy as they transition into older adulthood and maximizing the health of all older adults through prevention strategies like encouraging healthy lifestyles, planning for aging, improving the use of preventive services. Abstracts are due February 5, 2018. The Summit will be held July 16-17 in Washington, DC.
 
IFIC Fellowship Award
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Sylvia Rowe Fellowship Award to help promising nutrition and food safety communicators enhance their capabilities. The recipient will be awarded an 8-12 week paid internship ($600 per/week) at the IFIC/IFIC Foundation offices in Washington, DC. The application deadline is February 7, 2018, and the internship needs to be completed by the end of 2018. For more information about the Sylvia Rowe Fellowship, visit here .
 
Together for Healthy Schools Initiative
America's Promise and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are leading the 
Together for Healthy and Successful Schools Initiative . America's Promise will award three to five grants of up to $150,000 each per year for two years to collaborative efforts that display alignment with this vision and a proven ability to accelerate positive change for young people in schools and their communities. The application deadline is January 22.
 

International
Sodium Protocol Published
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has finalized the sodium intake protocol that will be used to establish a dietary reference value (DRV) for sodium. The protocol summarizes comments from the public and interested parties and how the EFSA incorporated that feedback into the draft scientific opinion. The final scientific opinion should be available in the spring of 2019.
 
Public Comment Requested on Nutrient Sources
EFSA is asking for public comment on its draft guidance on the safety evaluation of nutrient sources and the bioavailability of nutrients from the sources. The guidance document is intended to assist applicants in the preparation of dossiers for the evaluation of new nutrient sources. Comments are due by February 11, 2018