Feb 28, 2014
White potatoes excluded from WIC

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its final ruling in the food revisions of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

The study stated that including white potatoes in the WIC food packages would not contribute towards meeting the nutritional needs of the WIC population and would not support the goal of expanding the types and varieties of fruits and vegetables available to program participants, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine.”

The document did state that nutritional information WIC participants receive will continue to include white potatoes as a “healthy source of nutrients and an important part of a healthful diet.”

The National Potato Council (NPC) issued a statement critical of the USDA decision. The NPC press release stated that in making this decision the USDA relied on data from the mid-1990s, data that is not relevant in today’s nutritional environment.

“In its final WIC rule, USDA failed to incorporate its own nutritional recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that calls for Americans to eat more starchy vegetables, including white potatoes.”

NPC said that the science clearly justifies inclusion of white potatoes and that the NPC will continue to petition the USDA to change its present policy.

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