National WIC Association

June 13, 2019

Press Release: National WIC Association Opposes ERS, NIFA Relocation

Rev. Greenaway: “At a time when 47% of infants rely on WIC, we cannot afford to go without independent nutrition research.”



Press Contact: Natalie Mulloy



WASHINGTON – On June 13, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Kansas City as the new site location for the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).


Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response:


“The National WIC Association strongly opposes Secretary Perdue’s crusade against independent research at USDA. Nutrition assistance programs rely on the independent research conducted by the Economic Research Service (ERS) to inform program administration and ensure efficient stewardship of federal resources. USDA’s plans undermine the very concept of good government.


“ERS studies inform every facet of the WIC program – from providing an accurate landscape of national food security data, to identifying the economic impacts of improved breastfeeding rates, to laying out opportunities to contain or reduce food costs to federal nutrition programs. Each study informs the actions of policymakers and WIC program administrators, ensuring that federal funds are utilized in the most efficient, cost-effective manner.


“At its core, this proposal is an attempt to undermine, minimize, and silence independent analysis and research. Our chief concern has been that this proposal will disrupt current studies and reduce staff capacity to a level where nutrition and food security research is no longer conducted. At a time when 47% of infants rely on WIC, we cannot afford to go without independent nutrition research.


“Congress has repeatedly called on Secretary Perdue to more fully vet this proposal. USDA should refrain from proceeding with this short-sighted plan in order to restore full confidence to these vital research agencies.”


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NWA is the go-to voice of and for WIC staff at more than 12,000 WIC locations across the country who work to support more than 7 million mothers and young children. NWA provides member-driven advocacy; education, guidance and support to WIC staff; and drives innovation to strengthen WIC as we work toward a nation of healthier women, children, and their families. Learn more at