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ASN Health and Nutrition Policy Newsletter
Week of
January 11, 2019       
American Society for Nutrition Newsletter

January 2019
In This Issue
ASN News
Congressional Action
Administrative Action
National Initiatives
Meetings
Funding Opportunities
International
ASN News
ASN Seeks Videos for Understanding Nutritional Science Competition
ASN wants to showcase videos highlighting your nutrition research! Enter the Understanding Nutritional Science video competition  by creating a short video (2 minutes or less) that explains the important nutrition research you conduct and how it benefits public health. Open to ASN members only! Deadline to enter is February 28, 2019. Prizes will be awarded! The first place individual / team (of up to 5 individuals) wins one-year membership to ASN and free registration to Nutrition 2019!Learn more here: nutrition.org/contest  
 
Student Scholarships for Food Policy Impact
We're nearly one month away from the 2019 Food Policy Impact, co-hosted by ASN and the Washington DC Section of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) (February 11-12, 2019; 1717 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006). Space is filling up fast!  Reserve your spot todayThe 1.5 day conference showcases presentations from government officials and others in the regulatory space on relevant food laws, regulations and policy initiatives important to nutrition science and policy.
 
Up to 20 local students interested in nutrition policy can receive scholarships to cover their registration fees! Students interested in this opportunity should email their resume along with a brief cover letter describing their interest in Food Policy Impact to Allison Cooke , Director, Food Policy at the Corn Refiners Association by Friday, January 18, 2019  with the subject line "2019 IFT Food Policy Impact Student Registration." CRA will confirm students who will receive registration support no later than January 25, 2019.
 
"Ensuring Trust in Nutrition Science" Update
ASN is committed to ensuring transparency and objectivity in our practices as a Society, as well as in the entire field of nutrition science. Now we need your help! In 2016, ASN commissioned an independent "Blue Ribbon Panel" to review the state of trust in nutrition science and to provide recommendations for working collaboratively across sectors and disciplines, while maintaining transparency and scientific rigor in nutrition science, to uphold the trust of all stakeholders. The Panel's report "Best Practices in Nutrition Science to Earn and Keep the Public's Trust" and its recommendations, based on a comprehensive literature review, will be published soon, followed by a stakeholder input period. We'd like your help in determining ASN's path forward in responding to the Panel's recommendations and determining which, if any, should be implemented. Stay tuned for more information! In the meantime, audio from a Nutrition 2018 presentation on this topic is available on ASN on Demand.
 
Nutrition 2019 Abstract Submission is Open
Share your science with researchers around the globe at Nutrition 2019, June 8-11 in Baltimore, MD. ASN is looking for the best basic, clinical, translational, population and public health science that impacts the field of nutrition. ASN interest groups and councils are working together to integrate new science on key topical areas including: Neuroscience, Cognitive Function and Chronobiology, Nutrition Influences on Human Microbiomes, Food Security and its Connects to Nutrition and Health, Energy Balance, Ingestive Behavior and Weight Management, and more. Clinical case vignettes and abstracts on methods and protocols also are sought.  Accepted abstracts will be published in Current Developments in Nutrition, ASN's new open access journal. There is no late-breaking round of submissions. Submit your research by January 18, 2019 to present at Nutrition 2019. Visit https://nutrition.org/N19/abstracts for instructions, travel award opportunities and other resources.
 
Note the nutrition policy-specific abstract categories and get your submissions in today!
012 - Policy, Systems, and Environmental Approaches in Public Health;
039 - Nutrition Policies and Regulations;
069 - Translation and Communication of Nutrition Science for Public Policy, Practice and the Consumer



Congressional Action
Government Shut Down Continues Without End in Sight
The last policy brief reported that the Senate had approved an extension of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Continuing Resolution to keep the Federal government open until February 8th, which did not meet the President's approval. Since December 21, 2018, the government has been closed - 21 days and counting with no resolution of the conflict regarding funding of a border wall emerging. Consequently, about 800,000 Federal employees, covered by the remaining seven unapproved FY 2019 appropriation bills, have been furloughed or are working without pay. This includes employees at Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
 
The House passed separately FY 2019 funding bills for Financial Services Appropriations on January 9 and Agriculture/FDA Appropriations and   Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations on January 10. These bills had been previously approved, but this is an attempt to reopen parts of the government. The Senate does not appear willing to these bills, but the resolution of the conflict remains illusive. The Trump Administration is currently exploring the possibility of declaring a national emergency and then diverting money allocated to the Army Corps of Engineers for civil works projects for national security purposes to support construction of a border wall.
 
Meanwhile, the Senate passed S.24 the Government Fair Treatment Act that ensures compensation for employees who have been furloughed or worked without pay from December 22. The House unanimously approved the bill to compensate furloughed workers, but the signature of the President is uncertain.
 
Concerns about the impact of the shutdown on food safety, food security, and Indian health continue to arise. USDA recently announced that it had found adequate funding to keep Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and child nutrition programs operating through February. FDA has cancelled all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities; however, the FDA Commissioner is exploring how to bring back some inspectors for high risk food operations. USDA inspectors are working without pay. The impact is quite severe on the Indian Health Service and reports suggest that t ribes "are among the worst impacted by this shutdown because it affects the day-to-day operation of their health clinics and hospitals."
 
House Announces Issues to be Addressed
Newly appointed Democratic Committee Chairs have suggested areas they will pursue in the 116th Congress, which include health care, Farm Bill legislation, education matters, and immigration. As for health care, the House leadership has plans to intercede in the Texas court case that ruled the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional and to begin discussions about possible improvements to the ACA that were considered in the Senate last year. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) with 14 co-sponsors introduced H.R.185 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. House leadership also pledged "to lower health care costs and prescription drug prices, and protect people with pre-existing medical conditions" in the legislative pursuits. In a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) , House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) began to explore the cost of single payer health care proposals by requesting estimates for various policy considerations from CBO.
 
Senate Failed to Approve USDA Nominees
At the end of the 115th Congress, the Senate failed to vote on the USDA nominees that had been approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee. Consequently, the process must start over with the USDA renominating these individuals in the current Congress for approval. Dr. Scott Hutchins from Corteva Agriscience was nominated to become the Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics (REE); his testimony is here. Dr. Mindy Brashears, Texas Tech University, nominated for Under Secretary for Food Safety and Naomi Earp, JD, was nominated for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.

Administrative Action
NIH Provides Guidance on Implementing Revised Common Rule
On January 2nd, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released the Guide Notice regarding implementation of the Final Rule, which amends the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (Common Rule). The notice provides details on procedural changes that will go into effect as a result of this amendment. Compliance with the Final Rule is required by January 21, 2019
 
NIH ODP Seeks Comments on Workshop Draft Report on Osteoporosis
The Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) is accepting comments on the draft report from the NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Appropriate Use of Drug Therapies for Osteoporotic Fracture Prevention. Public comments are due February 9, 2019. Submit responses to NIHP2P@mail.nih.gov; respondents must reference a corresponding line number of the report within their comment.
 
NICHD Requests Input on Strategic Plan
The NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) issued a Request for Information soliciting feedback on the following six potential research themes, goals, and opportunities for its Fiscal Years (FY) 2020-2024 strategic plan:
  • Understanding Early Human Development
  • Setting the Foundation for a Healthy Pregnancy and Lifelong Wellness
  • Promoting Gynecological, Andrological, and Reproductive Health
  • Indentifying Sensitive Time Periods to Optimize Health Interventions
  • Improving Health During the Transition from Adolescences to Adulthood
  • Ensuring Safe and Effective Therapeutics and Devices
Responses are due February 15, 2019 via email to the NICHD Strategic Planning Group at NICHDStrategicPlan@nih.gov.
 
Surgeon General Works to Advance Oral Health
Surgeon General Jerome Adams held the first planning meeting for a new report on oral health to be released in 2020 that will update the earlier 2000 report from Surgeon General Satcher. A Jan. 10 webinar updated the public on the status of the report and requested public input to help shape its content. In a January 10 public webinar, Captain Dr. Dye from the National Insitute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and SG report lead, discussed the plans for the report and summarized the lack of progress in reducing dental caries across the lifespan.  The role of social determinants of health, the lack of access to dental services for the underserved, and the impact of substance abuse and opioids on oral health arose as the primary factors for the lack of progress and, hence, the focus of the new report.
 
USDA Proposes Rule on SNAP Work Requirements
USDA recently announced its proposed rule regarding work-related program requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) to receive SNAP benefits, because the 2018 Farm Bill failed to contain these restrictions. In a press release, the department clarified that the rule would apply to adults, without dependents, between the ages of 18 and 49 who are not receiving disability benefits, but would not apply to the disabled, elderly, or pregnant women. The rule proposes a reduction of $1.5 billion from the program over 10 years, and suggests reforms to current regulations that allow states to waive work requirements for ABAWDs in areas with high unemployment rates. The USDA fact sheet on the proposed rule can be found here. The rule will be available for public comment upon publication in the Federal Register.
 
In December, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced legislation to prevent USDA from implementing the proposed rule.  Title I of a Rules Committee package (H. Res. 6), which the House approved on January 3, directs the House's Office of General Counsel to "explore all possible legal options for responding" to the proposed SNAP rule.
 
USDA Releases Final Rule on Bioengineering Labeling
On December 21, 2018, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published its final rule on the labeling of genetically modified ingredients in foods available for retail sale. The National Mandatory Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) was established as a provision to The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (Public Law 114-216), passed in July 2016. The rule goes into effect February 19, 2019, with implemantion by January 1, 2020. Voluntary compliance ends December 31, 2021, with mandatory compliance scheduled for January 1, 2022.
 
The NBFDS includes a definition of bioengineered (BE) foods and mandates the use of the term "bioengineered" in the disclosure of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. The AMS maintains a List of Bioengineered Foods that must be disclosed. Products may be labeled using one of four options: text, symbols provided by the USDA, scannable electronic or digital codes, or text message. Small food manufacturers may also provide consumers with a phone number to call or a website URL to access for bioengineering information.
Exemptions to the rule include food derived from animals fed BE feed; ingredients with undetectable amounts of altered DNA, such as sugar and vegetable oil; very small food manufacturers with annual revenue of less than $2.5 million; food served in restaurants and similar establishments; certified organic food; and foods that inadvertently contain no more than 5% of a BE substance.
 
USDA Evaluates New Locations for ERS and NIFA
On December 21, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the criteria the USDA has established to evaluate the locations which have expressed interest in becoming the new home sites of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  Leaders from USDA, ERS, and NIFA will all be involved in the site selection process. Quality of life, capital and operating costs, workforce and unemployment rates, and logistics and IT infrastructure will all be considered when selecting new sites.
 
In August 2018, Secretary Perdue announced a reorganization of the USDA that will result in the relocation of the ERS and NIFA outside the Washington, DC area by the end of 2019, in order to attract and retain more qualified staff, to improve stakeholder access to these USDA resources, and to reduce operating costs.  
 
USDA Seeks Input on Nutrition Education Research and Grant Development
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently began accepting comments on a proposed information collection that will conduct research in support of providing science-based nutrition education to beneficiaries of FNS programs and the development and assessment of grants for FNS population groups. The comment period closes on February 19, 2019. Comments may be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or mailed to Rachelle Ragland-Greene, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302.
 
HHS Solicits Feedback on Healthy People 2030 Objectives
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking input on the proposed core, developmental and research objectives for Healthy People 2030 that include a Nutrition Section. In addition to responding to existing proposed objectives, commenters are invited to submit additional objectives for consideration. Comments are being accepted through January 17, 2019. Comments may be submitted online at the Healthy People 2030 website, or submitted via email to HP2030@hhs.gov.  


National Initiatives
FASEB Excellence in Science Award Nominations
FASEB is accepting nominations for the 2020 FASEB Excellence in Science Award. Two new awards ($5,000 each) for Mid-Career and Early Career Women Scientists will be offered for the first time this year. Nominators and Nominees must be current members of a current Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) member society to be eligible, including ASN. Register online for an informational webinar on January 24 from 2:00-3:00 pm Eastern.
 
FASEB also recently announced its 2018 BioArt winners. Check out the images!
 
National Academies Releases Obesity-focused Publications
Following a May 7, 2018 workshop hosted by the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published the free online publication, Understanding and Overcoming the Challenge of Obesity and Overweight in the Armed Forces: Proceedings of a Workshop. The book outlines the workshop's examination of the challenges overweight and obesity present in all military branches and strategies used to address these issues both within the armed forces and the community.
 
The Roundtable on Obesity Solutions also released the Proceedings in Brief from an October 2018 workshop,  Current Status and Response to the Global Obesity Pandemic.
 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Launches Collaborative Health Initiative
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently launched Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) with the goal of creating a collaborative network across multiple sectors of health care to share data and identify challenges and opportunities for innovation and improvement in community health systems. Specifically, DASH aims to aid communities in identifying and sharing successful health improvement models, thereby enhancing communities' ability to make decisions, plan, and implement appropriate strategies for local health improvement. This initiative is a collaborative effort between the   Illinois Public Health Institute  (IPHI) and the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI), with support from RWJF.
 
Cost-Effectiveness of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Studied
A recent study led by researchers at Tufts University confirms previous findings that a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) would be cost-effective. Additionally, the current study uses a model to evaluate the costs and benefits of this tax on nine separate stakeholder groups, and finds that the effects of the tax would have a range of effects. The study concludes individuals would benefit through improvements in quality of life and reduced prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Savings in health care costs translate to governmental savings, in addition to the benefit of increased tax revenue. For the beverage industry, the impact largely depends on how much of the tax burden is shifted to consumers.
 
BCI Report Reveals Reduction in Calories Consumed
The 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative (BCI) was announced in 2014 as a collaborative effort between the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the American Beverage Association, The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr. Pepper, and PepsiCo to reduce the beverage calories consumed per person by 20% by 2025. The initiative measures calorie consumption nationally and in five key communities. The 2017 community progress report  showed that calories from beverages are trending downward. In all five measured communities, the pace of calorie reduction exceeded the average annual pace required to achieve the target goal.
 
Antibiotic Stewardship Championed for Improved Public Health
A group of major stakeholders, including food companies, retailers, producers, and trade and professional organizations, recently issued the Framework for Antibiotic Stewardship in Food Animal Production. The framework is the result of two years of discussions, moderated by the Farm Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Stakeholders agree that antibiotic use must be managed responsibly in order to protect the health of the public and livestock, reduce drug resistance, and maintain antibiotic efficacy. The framework defines stewardship and outlines core components and guiding principles for stewardship programs.
 
Missouri Issues New Food Labeling Law
In June 2018, Missouri became the first state to enact legislation dictating how the word "meat" can be used on food labels. The law, which went into effect January 1, 2019, prohibits the labeling of any product not derived from livestock or poultry as meat. The law is meant to protect consumers from confusion. As more Americans express interest in plant-based protein and sales of imitation meat products increase, it is unclear if similar laws will follow in other states.


Meetings
National Academy of Medicine Webinar, the Future of Health Services Research
Join the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) on January 24 from 1:00-2:30pm ET for  a webinar to discuss the recent NAM Special Publication on The Future of Health Services Research (HSR). Field and thought leaders will discuss the current state of health services research, why HSR is so critical to improving our health care system, and opportunities to support and expand this research in the future. Register  here.
 
Second Meeting of National Clinical Care Commission
 The National Clinical Care Commission (NCCC)  will conduct its 2nd meeting on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, from 1:00-5:00pm ET. This meeting will be held virtually and registration is now open to the public. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) hosted the 1st NCCC  in-person public meeting in October 2018.
 
AAMC Webinars on NASEM Science Reports
In 2018, the NASEM published five reports on a broad range of issues in scientific education, research, and training. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), FASEB, and NASEM  are launching a monthly, one-hour series of webinars to discuss the major findings, implications, and recommendations from these reports. The series will be on the third Monday of the month from 1:00-2:00pm and each webinar will feature a NASEM study director and focus on a single report:
  • Breaking Through: the Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Science Researchers- February 18 (Dr. Lida Beninson, Program Officer, Board on Higher Education and Workforce) 
  • The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Higher Education- March 18 (Dr. Ashley Bear, Senior Program Officer, Committee on Women in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine) 
  • Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine- April 15 (Dr. Frazier Benya, Senior Program Officer, Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine) 
NIH Workshoop on Achieving Health Equity in Preventive Services
NIH is hosting the Pathways to Prevention Workshop on Achieving Health Equity in Preventive Services June 19-20, 2019 at Natcher Conference Center, Buidling 45 to assess the available scientific evidence on achieving health equity in the use of clinical preventive services in a health care setting. The workshop will focus on the three leading causes of death in the US: cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The workshop is free and open to the public, and is designed for researchers, practitioners, and other professionals interested in clinical preventive services and issues of health equity. Registration is required, and attendees can join either in person or via NIH VideoCast (in-person attendance is strongly encouraged). Register here.
 

Funding Opportunities
Federal Funding
HHS, National Institutes of Health
NHLBI Clinical Trial Pilot Studies (R34 Clinical Trial Optional)
Synopsis 1
 
National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Research Career Enhancement 
Award for Established Investigators (K18 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)

Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Required)

NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (Parent K24 Independent Clinical Trial Required)

Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (Parent K24 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (Parent K01 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Independent Scientist Award (Parent K02 - Independent Clinical Trial Required)

National Cancer Institute (NCI) Pathway to Independence Award for Outstanding Early Stage Postdoctoral Researchers (K99/R00 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Independent Scientist Award (Parent K02 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (Parent K08 Independent Clinical Trial Required)

Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (Parent K08 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (Parent K01 - Independent Clinical Trial Required)

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23 Independent Clinical Trial Required)

Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award (Parent K25 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

NCI Pathway to Independence Award for Outstanding Early Stage Postdoctoral Researchers (K99/R00 - Independent Clinical Trial Required)


International
US Votes Against UN Resolution on Nutrition
The United States and Libya opposed a United Nations General Assembly Global health and foreign policy calling for the promotion of healthier foods and exercise. Nikki Haley, the Trump administration's outgoing ambassador to the UN, said that the U.S. government objected to the resolution's positions on abortion, trade and migration.
 
Canada Implements New Safe Food Law
Canada's new Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) will replace 14 sets of regulations on January 15, 2019. According to a Food Safety News report, Canada's food safety focus will shift to prevention of foodborne illnesses and recognize "new threats to food safety, changing consumer preferences and prevention-focused international standards."