As an organization that envisions a nation of healthy women and children, the National WIC Association (NWA) is strongly opposed to H.R. 3529, the WIC Improvement Act, which mandates the inclusion of vitamin supplements in WIC. This legislation, which was introduced by Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) last Friday, would override the sound scientific judgment of our nation’s leading nutrition science experts.
The WIC food package is reviewed at least once every 10 years by a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) expert committee. NASEM’s most recent review culminated in a final report published in January 2017. After months of careful consideration of the evidence, expert presentations, and extensive public comment periods, NASEM opted not to recommend adding vitamin supplements to the WIC food packages. Now that USDA is in the process of interpreting and implementing the NASEM recommendations, there will be further opportunities for public comment. During the last review of the WIC food packages, USDA provided two public comment periods after the publication of NASEM’s final report, and analyzed over 7,500 comment letters before implementing its final rule.
The National WIC Association strongly opposes H.R. 3529, which bypasses the NASEM review process in an attempt to alter the contents of the WIC food packages. The contents of the WIC food packages should be determined by nutrition scientists, not by congressional mandates.