CSPI - Center for Science in the Public Interest

05/13/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/13/2024 15:17

House GOP Farm Bill framework fails to protect SNAP

Statement of CSPI President Dr. Peter G. Lurie

The Center for Science in the Public Interest opposes the partisan Farm Bill framework released last week by the leadership of the House Agriculture Committee.

The bill attacks Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, cuts key climate-focused programs, and includes measures to weaken the nutritional content of school meals. In general, the framework undercuts programs vital to protecting our nation's food and nutrition security.

The framework hampers USDA's ability to keep up to date the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which forms the basis of SNAP benefit calculations, with a requirement that the TFP be "cost neutral." This all but guarantees that SNAP benefits won't keep up with the escalating true cost of food, exacerbating already too-high rates of food insecurity.

The framework also claws back key climate-focused programs authorized in the Inflation Reduction Act or programs like the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and the Agricultural Conservation and Easement Program. These programs are popular and necessary to help us build a more resilient food system.

Finally, the House framework prioritizes industry profits over kids' health by circumventing the evidence-based process behind school meal nutrition standards. And it does so outside of the agriculture committee's jurisdiction, without respect for the formal Child Nutrition Reauthorization process.

CSPI looks forward to an eventual bipartisan Farm Bill that increases access to healthy and sustainable food for everyone in the U.S. by prioritizing food and nutrition security, bolstering fruit and vegetable incentive programs, and increasing access to healthy food in the charitable food system.

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