Commends Efforts to Help Low-Income Americans
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 3, 2005 – In a letter of support sent to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), one of the dietary supplement industry’s leading trade associations, today urged the committee members to give strong consideration to a bill that would allow the millions and millions of low-income Americans who rely on food stamps to better meet their nutritional needs.
The “Food Stamp Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act of 2005,” introduced last week by Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), would provide low-income households the opportunity to use their food stamps to purchase vitamin and mineral supplements.
According to CRN President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Mister, “Whether it’s a woman of child-bearing age who should be taking a multivitamin with folic acid to prevent birth defects, or an elderly man who needs extra calcium to protect fragile bones, the food stamp program should provide low-income Americans with options and encouragement to improve their nutritional status. This bill would permit a family of four to supplement their conventional food intake with a simple multivitamin.”
Mr. Mister added that while educational outreach on nutrition should still focus on first striving for a well-balanced diet, “it is inconceivable to me that as a country we should be suggesting that it’s okay for poor people to stock up on ‘junk’ food while not giving them a way to supplement a healthy diet with nutritional supplements that have many proven health benefits. Americans who make the choice to be healthy should have the means and the tools to do so.”
The purpose of the Food Stamp Program, according to the regulations, is to “promote the general welfare and to safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s population by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households.”
CRN’s letter noted that the trade association looked forward to answering questions from the committee or providing any further information as requested.