tv Consumer Federation of America Food Policy Conference CSPAN March 28, 2018 1:28pm-5:06pm EDT
>> clemens. they had applied for a line speed waiver and that is what keeps our interest in the plans. we received the information from the agency. in reading the training material that was used to train your inspect areas, it is obvious that what this plant is now doing is very similar to what you are proposing in the proposed rule. the plants received the line speed waiver approval in september of 2017. the plant actually implemented implemented -- [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> sounds like some great conversations. i know i was a part of some very interesting conversations over lunch. i hope you enjoyed what we have for you. once again, we worked with a chef here at capitol hill to try to get as much as they lunch locally sourced as we could and that is what the little explanatory notes on your menu bar. that is something i've said before, something we do in response to feedback we have gotten from you on your reviews of the conference. i would just like to underscore your feedback is really important when we solicit, you
know, your valuations. and please, take a few minutes to do that and give it to us straight. don't hold back. you want to nominate yourself for a panel next year, do it. do it anonymously or e-mail me or whatever. i want to call your attention to food recovery network. it's a great program started last year. we don't have to do anything. it is great. they just come in for us and take all this food that was otherwise going to waste and they deliver it to a charity. they just told me it's union mission house. i think i am butchering not. a local charity is getting
excess food from us food from essaouira food recovery. i encourage all of you that have a lot of organizations do conferences like this. from our experience i don't understand why anyone is not using food recovery network to cut down on their waste. so, without further ado, i want to get us moving. i am very pleased to have a longtime leader in food policy issues. another most valued member of our advisory committee here to introduce 10. kate houston is director of governmental regulations and policy for carville coaches work for john boehner, undersecretary at u.s. da and has quite a presence in our next speaker, secretary glickman sold kansas
district. i will let her tell you a little bit more about that. help me to welcome kate house to the stage. [applause] >> things. good afternoon, everyone. i hope you had a great lunch and you are feeling nourished and ready for a fall afternoon of great content starting with secretary dan glickman who i had a high honor to introduce here today. i don't think there's many of you here in the room that is not tied some opportunity to work on issues that are near and dear to the secretary, either directly or indirectly because there are not many issues that dan hasn't focused on in his career, which has now lasted many, many
decades in many different positions. interestingly, when we talk about this over lunch, dan is not just focusing in the food space and we think of him as the secretary of agriculture. the congressman from an agriculture district in kansas, the fourth district. we think of him in all of his work with the bipartisan policy center where he has focused a lot of time on food nutrition. but he also has avid interest in focused a lot of his career in aviation policy and served as the executive director of ceo of the motion picture association of america. i think dan is going to share with all of you some interesting analogies and parallels between disruptions of things that have happened in other ratios where he has worked in what is going on in the food industry today. it's a unique perspective and we
are very honored to have him bring his time and talent to share in the room at best today. if you could help me give dan a round of applause. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, kate, very much for inviting me here. my long resume as me with about 200 jobs, so it's very difficult for me to keep a job. i'm not exactly retired, but more retired and i've been able to keep that job nicely. it works out well. in any event, many of you in this room know much more than i do. i think kate for introducing me. she mentioned cargo, one of the largest employers in my district. to meet started in my district to wichita and my interest in agricultural aviation grew out of things part of the country. what i wanted to do today for
quickly as go through major trends involving the food and farm communities. the farmville overhangs a lot of this stuff. we can talk about this at the end because congress is wrestling that right now. a fair amount of time in congress because i ran the estimates congressional program, which means i try to provide continuing education opportunities for members of congress of both parties and i'm at the bipartisan policy center for a look with republicans and democrats to bring people together to congress and you can see what a wonderful job i've been doing over the last couple years. just think how bad it would be if i wasn't there. that's all i can tell you. let me go through some of the issues, which are more top-of-the-line issue. the first one i thought he would talk about is his transparency. that's becoming a much bigger issue for consumers in the food industry. what information are consumers demanding and howled the food industry and food companies
choose to provide that information at not only big companies, allows for smaller startup companies, new entrants into the field and what will the governments role play in this issue of transparency either through regulation or through encouraging companies to be more transparent. it is clear the food companies are much more aware of the challenges. so are their shareholders than they were 15 or 20 years ago whether it's labeling, entrepreneurship, environment. cargo has been involved with this. mcdonald's is now making an effort at reducing carbon emissions. we now have a shareholder democracy movement in this country pushing companies to do things that the government can't even get them to do. the world is changing in this issue of transparency. what does the consumer need to know? what does the consumer want to know and how do you address those things in an object that way?
a second trend has to do with the future of the food industry and especially the retail landscape. given consumer demands, the marketplace for food products is changing rapidly, especially in the retail sector. this is being driven by home delivery, online sales, the move towards amazon into the whole foods area in an area long dominated by wal-mart. still a major, major force in this business. direct marketing of foods, farmers markets, a myriad of ways people are getting their food these days. that is going to change. you ask yourself what will the grocery store of the future look like? could it be outside of today's store, products that produce, meat, bakery, seafood and wine, et cetera, who knows what is happening. but the inside of grocery stores will change. the outside will change. people are going to get their
stuff in a different way. change is happening in this world in this regard and i want to give you some parallel to the entertainment industry. when asset motion picture association, we do with this issue with rapid change. my predecessor's name is jacqueline t. he was for 38 years head of the mpa, worked for president johnson. there was an issue involving something called data macs. any of you in this room remember betamax? the betamax issue had to do with recording movies and selling them on devices that we would look as antiques today. lindsey testify to the judiciary committee and said the betamax is the jack the ripper of the movie and the street. it will destroy it. what happened was that actually saved it. not so much the betamax, but the
dvd, the way consumers wanted to actually see their entertainment dvd got expensive and also it's pretty easy to pirate them and the modernization of them became a problem. so now we have streaming and cable, whether it's netflix, and hbo, people like the convenience and the cost of this new model. it doesn't mean they won't have the movie house. but it does mean they have moved beyond the traditional models of the 1930s through the 1970s. that has been a revolution in the entertainment industry and in part 5 by then industry for long periods of time. they accepted and they are working with it. some of these trends are happening in the food industry as well and we should figure out what it looks like in the long-term, howard affects consumers, poor consumers that
might not have -- that's the big change. the third change has to do with nutrition. i have thought for some time that the relationship the tween diet, nutrition, health and agriculture have been for stovepipe industries, none of which have worked together to blend to figure out how one relates to the other. pretty soon, the dietary guidelines are going to be coming out. 2020, i see kathy woteki in front of me. usda and hhs are beginning to seek input on priority topics to be covered under these new rules. an advisory panel is going to be appointed soon annul what recommendations relative to sugar, sodium, dietary fiber and other basic nutrition. you can be sure every interest
group, every commodity group in the world is going to want to try to influence these things. people's eating habits are changing as more and more, health is becoming a bigger factor in what people are eating. i know there is an who says you are what you eat. one trend i mentioned is the growing relationship of diet, nutrition, medicine, health and agriculture. here are the facts. obesity among all levels of populations is not coming down. among school-age populations, there was some leveling off of trends towards higher obesity. but studies have showed that obesity is in fact going to. the fastest growing part of the federal budget by far his health care. medicare and medicaid costs along with interest on the
national debt and it looks like the defense budget for driving 90% of the budget of the united states of america. those health care diseases are largely chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some form of cancers, arthritis. and so, this epic health care problem are caused by lifestyle changes obviously, exercise. but a big giant part of it is diet and that of course is very complicated because of marketing and i were typing of food and there's no simple answer. for a very complicated problem there is a and a wrong solution. in the case of this issue, there is no one simple solution. i thought it would explain for you to participate in a bipartisan policy task force on
nutrition that affect snap. i am a big fan of snap, but we recommended sugar sweetened beverages be removed from the snap program in the same way snap is not allowed tobacco, alcohol and a few other food items. i will first start by saying i'm a huge supporter of snap. i'm very much opposed to the heart of this proposal that the administration has proposed. and i also think proposals to reduce the snap budget by over $20 million over the next 10 years are wrongheaded. snap is one of degree programs in the united states in its countercyclical. if unemployment goes up and when economic times get better, which they have been getting better over the last year or two, the
number of recipients have been coming down. strong support for snap they do believe the kind of snap has not been a real priority. we propose in a report doing several things. this is a report chaired by myself, bill frist in a cardiovascular surgeon who has performed thousands of hard operations in inanimate usda with me. the report basically did a couple things. it urged strengthening the incentives for fruits and vegetables. not just fresh because frozen can have great value as well. we propose to improving snap bad, which i have had great trouble believing it has had much of an impact on what kids eat in the snap program, but it needs to be improved and strengthened. we ask for better coordination between medicaid and snap.
the majority of people on medicaid are snap recipients. and yet, the stovepipes are there enough of in most states is not the coordination of figuring out the health care problems and choices snap recipients have and how can we better improve their nutrition so that their medical conditions improve at the same time. we saw better data to indicate what is the evidence as it relates to snap benefits. our data and you'll hear more from others that says essentially the differences between what people buy on snap and the people who are not snap buyers are not material, but there are differences. there's a higher percentage of so sugar sweetened beverages purchased by people and snap. it is not gigantic, but it is there. the data is mysteriously missing
interns to what people in what stores serve on snap. the usda has done a better job and there's evidence that snap recipients by a more sugar sweetened beverages than on snap recipients as a percentage of their purchasing dollar, so we recommended to congress that they take a look at this and make this recommendation. i know there are many other factors causing obesity and heart disease and diabetes at younger and younger ages that i mentioned marketing, advertising, food deserts, lack of medical education and training. most doctors are not trained in the science of nutrition. at the same time, it does seem to me that a program that is based on health and the fastest growing part of the federal budget approaching almost a trillion dollars are large part because of chronic diseases
because of diet and related fact yours that we should at least be open to looking at this issue. i understand it's a tough public policy issue because a lot of the retailers aren't happy with this proposal and some of the antihunger groups aren't happy with the proposal because there's a believe we shouldn't treat snap recipients any different than non-snap recipients. but the health care implications are so monumental for a country that we at least have to be open to the fact that there is this other side of the equation, which is the public health side of the equation. by the way, there are some good signs happening out there. farmer's markets are increasing, helping people buy fruits and vegetables. we have double books program. more states are beginning to
require his dad, although it's sometimes very expensive for them. nutrition has to be a big part of the game. a few years back i was on the council on foreign relations program on non-communicable diseases in the developing world. so these were diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, cancer. not diseases like to bowl a poor malaria. working through this report i was amazed at how little attention was given to nutrition. there was a lot of attention given to stopping smoking, which is a great idea and getting more pharmaceutical into the developing world. but nutrition patent made its way into this discussion very much and is just as big of a problem in the united states as it is in the developing world. i wanted to mention that to you because i'm sure it is a subject that will come up and get a fair
amount of discussion. a couple of other things i want to discuss. one relates to the role of science. we are seeing some trends in bio bio -- biotech and especially gene editing, which offers a great new opportunity in the science world. i led the u.s. delegation of the world food summit when i was at usda and we had a press release at the summit where i was told today totally disrobed and protesters with signs on their bodies, and the truth. my mother and father -- actually, my mother was upset. my father was more interested in what it looked like rather than what it said.
we can't stop signs from proceeding, so there's a lot of key issues. in the area of gene editing and i think usda will soon be publishing proposed rules to implement a national bioengineered food disclosure act and i assume there'll be a lot of comment from folks in this room. the key issue will be in the rulemaking of this issue of gene editing. do you require highly refined ingredients like soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup or beet sugar or other kinds of things to be disclosed. how is this debate going on the future of this technology? are we going to go back into the gml debate where people are killing each other all the time were all sides going to want to be positive contributors to a positive situation. that is a big issue in the coming year and biotech in gene
editing, which is a different technology. the related issue is research. on the board on the foundation of food and agricultural research created in congress. kathy woteki was very involved in this. the sect dirt to kind of bootstrap additional funding a more cutting-edge projects that u.s. government, usda can afford to do their research budgets in real terms keep going down year after year after year, leveraging several dollars. priorities using the latest technology. i wanted to give you a couple examples of what we are doing. one is trying to harness the power of photosynthesis. there must be some scientists in this room. largely, if we have not any transformational breakthroughs
in decades if not centuries. how to increase yields and make plants grow faster, hardier, more resistant to disease. we have a partnership with the gates foundation, university of illinois and the u.s. government to deal with that issue. we have crops of the future, collaboratives looking at what we will be eating in the next 20, 30, 40, 50 years in researching those things. consumer surveys on food choices. what do they want in this modern world and what is the role of marketing and advertising in this process? a lot of discussion of urban agriculture like urban farming to figure out how you can produce crops, particularly fruits and vegetables in nontraditional ways. of course we end up at the farm bill, which thank goodness i am not an expert on anymore. it is complicated by the fact that there seems to be a
collision between the people who want to preserve snap largely in its current form in people who want to make major changes in the snap program. there are fewer differences on the farm and commodity titles than this particular one. myself, i think nothing is perfect. snap works pretty well to be honest with you. we are the only country in the world that has a massive multibillion dollars program helping people eat and get a nutritious diet. nobody else in the world. they have ad hoc programs, so we should not be using snap as a way to conduct some sort of major welfare reform when i don't think we need it. i do think the ending snap needs to be reinforced. it's not just a quantity program. it's a quality nutrition program as well and we need to focus
much more on that than anything else. let me close by saying i mentioned kind of a movie analogy. some of you may remember the movie the graduate with dustin hoffman and the famous words that is his father-in-law gave him as advice for the future. that word was plastics. and november he said what do i do. sun, there's only one thing. just remember this word. plastics. i am from that generation because i saw that movie in 1966 when i was a senior in college going through the vietnam war movement and it was nice to have a simple answer to the problems of the world at the time. there is no simple answer. but i would have to tell you that the whole world of food in agriculture goes to the heart of what we are all about. the much opportunity at all
levels. processing model, food company levels. the other advice i would give is remember that it's not just the foodies interested in all of this. napoleon once said war is too important to be left to the generals. i make the point that the food industry and not for culture is too important just to be left to people in the food industry and agriculture because everybody eats, everybody has his or her own opinion about what should be happening in this area and working together collaboratively, we can really make a better world in this area in the years to come. thank you very much. glad to be here. i would be glad to take any questions or comments. i was the most assaulted secretary of agriculture. they threw tires that may come infected buffalo guts at me.
i'm trying to figure out what else. and of course the protesters. i assume that there will be no protesters in this room. glad to hear any comments or questions from memoirs of an ex-politician. [applause] image you could say your name and your affiliation. >> i am robert marriott, student at penn state and i'm going to disrobed for this question. i appreciate that it may be sent to do so if you prefer not to answer that's fine. in your interactions posed retirement, what area do you find the current members of congress are most ignorant of in the areas csa is covering them that we are covering here today.
>> first of all, most of them aren't ignorant. most of them are smart, capable, patriotic people. it's just a in a group this size it becomes very tribal. when i think members on these conferences and we had breakfast, people behave, republicans and democrats treat each other with dignity and respect. that is why the end of the world is not here. i give you some of my own opinions on your subject. there is not of enough of knowledge of science in congress. we abolish the technology assessment in the whole world of fake facts and real facts and all the other project is describing facts is accelerated by the fact that basic knowledge of science policy is not part of the process and it encourages
sometimes national attitude about being too cavalier with how strong you feel about something where it is not justified by the facts. that is certainly a big problem. two other things. the congress is the article i part of our government. the founding fathers were intentional in making article i. not article ii. the president is not article i. he is article ii. so, the responsibly asserted congress in charge of policy is really important for this country. we will see what happens as this election year goes on. i'm not going to go into great detail on that point, but i think i made my point as clearly as they can. those are certainly two of the things.
the third thing which doesn't relate as much of the food industry because there's more bipartisanship in our culture and food than other areas. i think people are trained to work together in food and agriculture with some of these complex issues. but the tactics of money in politics is to start into this country. it leads into gridlock and is weakening america and it allows others like the chinese and brazilian stew step ahead of us whether it's in the research area where the policy area and it affects both sides of the political aisle and something has to be done about that. >> any other questions? we have a little bit of time. i would like to know, secretary glickman, i would like to talk a little bit more about bipartisan
policy center recommendations for change does anything for you. >> unanimous that proposal? yes. >> i am not necessarily personally the poster boy for good nutrition. i am like most people who begin to age. blood sugar goes up a little bit, cholesterol goes up a little bit and some people feel it's the natural order of things and it really isn't. it has to do with the general lifestyle of the country. .. i have some concerns about differentiating snap benefits from non- snap the benefits and
i don't want this to become like a new york new york thing like we do it here in the next year something else. that is not the point. sugar sweetened beverages are by a large items that metabolize into the liver and cause a whole host of medical problems and if people want to buy these on their own that is fine, using federal taxpayer money to buy something that has virtually no nutritive value at all and in less massive health care costs is a problem and i talked at length with doctor crist about this and he says he has operated on thousands of heart patients both bypass surgery, transplant surgery that think and said you look in those arteries and you really get a feeling about what has happened to people's lifestyle and diets. i think we can do good here is the thing.
just to get to the level of debate, we should be focusing less on issues like work requirements, which the majority of people on snap our families with small children or the other eligibility requirements that those things are not necessary. by and large the program operates reasonably freely of people taking advantage of it and using the system wrongfully. we should focus on is both quantity and quality of the nutritional quality of the food they put into their mouth. i watch a lot of television. if i were born 50 years ago, i wouldn't have any mental capacity whatsoever because that's all i would have been doing is watching television. i'm old enough so at least i have lived a life between now and then so it's not quite as much to me, but i watch the pressures and the influences on people especially kids in terms of what they eat and what they
do in the amount of time spent in social media and the amount of time watching television and what messages they are getting and i'm thinking to myself this is not good for a country that wants to be strong and healthy and so i took my message a little bit what can i do in the program i know a little bit about and that was snap. and at least give people to discussing it seriously was why i kind of change my views on at least this part of the program, but i would don't want to be misled that i believe snap needs eight major overhaul. it does not hurt it needs a increase in funding, not a decrease in funding or could there is right there. >> thank you very much for your comments. since you have had such a good success in the smaller groups with republicans and democrats getting together, what advice would you give so it could be
replicated in a bigger way and we could have-- >> good question. remember, our country was set up not to work very well. we have separation of powers, checks and balances, effectively our founding fathers and mothers , not many mothers back then, but women decided they wanted 1 foot on 1 foot on the accelerator at all times to make progress slow and methodical because they didn't trust government much and that works, but it only works where you can build consensus and work together because if you can't work together and build consensus gridlock happens, paralysis happens, so there are members of congress that really do work together. last year members pass the 21st century cures act, republicans and democrats got
together to increase funding for medical research and a very positive step, but it doesn't seem to happen on a lot of the big things in the rhetoric and viciousness is still too high, so all we can do is to try to get people together to work together worked historically worked well agriculture and it's been one of the clearly bipartisan areas. it disturbs me that seems to be breaking down a bit right now. i hope that is not the case. quite frankly, and i was lucky. i left before and it's been so much time raising money that we spend all this time dialing for dollars it's really is difficult to legislate very well. in addition to that, there is so much money coming into politics that if a member of congress, senator, a good one of either party wants it to take any position that's risky, you might
find yourself with $250,000 worth of television advertising the next weekend and i keep telling these people that there is no harm in losing. sometimes losing is not such a bad deal. after right-- after all, i lost and became secretary of agriculture and chief lobbyist for hollywood work not bad. i'm not sure everyone else could do that, but i do think that there is probably a little too little risk-taking and i understand because no one wants to deliberately get rid of their jobs, but i go back to this one. i think most people are trying to do their best under these difficult circumstances and having-- how can i say this without getting into too much trouble, just let me say this i worked for a president who is a master at reaching consensus and it makes a heck of a lot of difference if you have a president who wants the system to work well and while he was
not perfect, it was kind of heaven on earth compared to where we have right now. that's all i will say. thank you all very much. [applause]. >> thank you, secretary gluckman i would like to ask the speakers for our next panel to come to the stage. and this will be the last of our short panel format. another 55 minutes panel and then we will have a break and then we will come back here to finish off the day, so i will hand off the microphone to another longtime friend of the policy conference, beth johnson. beth's principal and ceo of blue direction llc. she knows a thing or two about what food companies can and cannot say to their customers. >> thank you. thank you, thomas, and thank you
to everyone who is attending and it's awfully hard to follow the former secretary of agriculture and the chief lobbyist for the motion picture studios. i can't say i have had as many fun job says that, but i have been in the policy world for about 25 years, so i have seen a lot. it's kind of one of those things the more they change the more they stay the same, so some of the things that's fascinating to me to listen to secretary glickman from the standpoint of talking about we need to make sure people are involved and we cannot leave it to the ministry work it's something frankly i think we want to talk about today on this panel and how-- both we as interested consumers and experts in the field can
talk to consumers and talk about science and how we can move forward so i'm delighted to moderate the panel today with these distinguished guests. i will let them introduce themselves for the most part. we have charlie arnett from the centers for student integrity, taylor wallace from think healthy group and margot from the center for science in the public interest. like i said we will talk about about food, science and the consumer. and how to we communicate, how do we-- are we had a place where we know what we need to communicate or is there still lot of questions? we talk about more transparency, having more information available to consumers. i think although we can see the industry or the folks involved in the food industry or food sector in general may not be transparent enough, either-- i think everyone would agree there's more information out there and available to the public today, so one of the
issues with this additional information we continue to see a lot of consumer confusion with people as confused or more confused than they were. they define healthy in different ways. we don't just talk about healthy nutrition. i went to the clean label conference and someone said we need to look at clean labels in relation to public health, not public relations, but at the same time if you look at what consumers are looking for, it's not just about public health. it's truly other things they value, so as we look at more of this consumer confusion we ask why. if we provide more permission and we are trying to be clear to the consumers, why do we still see consumer confusion and i was thinking to myself a bit in preparation for this, is it because we have got more disagreements among wethers professionals or experts in the field or consumers and experts
or is it just because there's more disagreement now than ever before? is it because there's actually more agreement among the professionals and experts in the field, but just not getting out to the consumer zero through social media or the press or what have you or is it because like we talked about earlier there so much skepticism in the us and around the world today that we don't trust anyone? if you are not in our sphere and you're not someone we trust or that we listen to and agrees with us, then we choose not to listen to you. to some extent you can't tell the truth because you think gm owes or are-- are okay and i think they are not okay or you cannot be telling the truth because you think sodium should be lower, but i think it shouldn't. you must be lying, so i think those are the kind of things we want to talk about today is how to get past that, how do we
communicate? i would argue some of these things-- it's a bit of everything, not one of all of these things and probably a lot more adding to the confusion, but i think we will learn a lot as we listen to our panelists and with that i will turn to you, charlie. >> thank you, beth. my name is charlie are not with the center for food integrity. we are not for profit organization helping the food system build trust. last year we did a digital-- what makes food information credible in a post truth world. it's the social science whereby you observe people's behavior as opposed to asking questions. uses big data to observe people's beliefs, their motivation, insights, what they shop, who they talk to, who influences them in a whole host of information allowing you to bring in phd sociologists together to form some hypothesis
and to approve those hypotheses within a different information. in that research we identified five different categories of consumers, scientific's, philosophers, followers, wishful thinker and exit stage list and going from left to right. they are the technical experts with a difficult time translating information they will offer information about why you cannot cannot do something, but frequently if you have someone with a site-- scientific background their responsibility pens. it's not helpful if you're looking for guidance. the philosopher takes the scientific information and uses it through an ethical lens and begins to take a social lens to view that information so they are looking for technical and croatian validation, but they
are really look at not can we do it, but should we do it and they are pretty mashed social context around eight issue and viewing it through that lens to help form what their decision should be. the follower is overwhelmed and confused and frequently convicted by the different information they hear from different sources. they fear most being wrong about making a decision when it comes to food or making the wrong decision for themselves or their family. they are 39% of the population, the largest population group we have. they will look for the philosopher because they are looking for permission to believe. help me understand this is the right thing to do and that you have evidence to support it. they are looking for ethical guidance as well as data to support it. the wishful thinker is the fan of click bait. fairly large cohort, about 36% of the population that will click on the next list of five things to eat if you want to lose 20 pounds in a week or eat this and i are whatever. the challenges they tend to overstate the impact or
consequences of a choice or decision so they don't have a lot of credibility in influencing others. that it's essential list are your trolls are other side of the issue so they will be that people on the pro- gm side and anti- gm side, but they are so polarized in their debate that they tend to alienate everyone who is not part of their group. because consumers are crowdsourcing knowledge today we need to be where they are going and be able to engage in a way that's relevant to them so there's no single oracle or source of information they will go to. people are looking for a variety of channels and tend to align channels were at their existing worldview so we have to be able to participate in those conversations in a way that is relevant to them care it to share more information, but that's a context in terms of the opportunity to engage with philosophers and target them and helpful way and help to multiply
information that can inform followers and others. >> i'm taylor wallace with the think healthy group in george mason university. i say i am an academic by heart. i love teaching. i have about three clinical trials going out at george mason and other universities across the us. interesting stuff. i like to do cutting translational research. i have a clinical trial where we give a mixture of bacteria which is bacteria specific viruses to individuals to see if we can kill off some of those bad bacteria in your: and prevent dietary related g.i. abnormalities that a large portion of the population have. through my consulting group think healthy group i've do a lot of consulting on the policy side particularly the nutrition
policy side helping companies really look at their resources. companies and commodity boards in the canaries of strategic research interests for those companies. then, to round things off i have been a regular on the national media. several of you have probably seen me on the doctor oz show and i can resonate with the secretary. i've had people want to throat rotten tomatoes at me as well, so that's been an interesting aspect of my career that i never really intended to come about. i have a blog, doctor taylor taylor.com. we have a little under 800,000 followers now on the blog, so i get a lot of consumer advice. and a lot of opinions of mine have made it the mainstream media and now i have to really step back and ask myself, okay, what makes me evidence -based.
what kind of silent-- science dry went to represent? i thought the first panel today was interesting because you have three really good reporters in the room, but that is not necessarily representative of what i work with when i go to the dr. oz show where you have a 19-year old kid that has googled something and the next hot thing to go on tv. so i think i have-- i work on the policy side so understand evidence standard and i work on the research sites help i am in the trenches and then i turned around and translate that to the media. >> thank you, taylor. one of the things i think it's really interesting about consumer confusion around nutrition is as someone who graduated with their nutrition degree a couple of years now i feel like a lot of the information in my nutrition, you
know 115 book is still pretty accurate. if you look at the dietary guidelines for americans over the last 35 years, advice has pretty much stayed the same. the science has just got stronger, so we still recommend over the last 35 years to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains and come back on sugar, salt and a saturated fat. it's not like vegetables used to be bad for you and now they are good for you or that they used to say eat a lot of sugar and salt and now they say cut back. like the court nutrition advice is pretty much the same. i think one thing that is different to your point is that there is a lot of information out there and a lot of people hold themselves up as nutrition experts and so diet, book authors for example when to sell books and if you want to sell a diet book you cannot sell a book
with the same old boring nutrition advice, eat less and move more. you have to come up with the only eat green smoothies or that helio diet or some new gimmick to help people cut calories so that can be confusing. i think the nature of the news media makes it confusing. that reporters job is not to be giving dietary advice they are not dietitians. their advice is to report things that are new and what is new is a study that shows sodium does not increase your blood pressure of the study that shows sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, those don't get news because that's like the same old boring advice to cut back on sodium, but the one crappy study that had too small a sample size that measured sodium intake as questionable and into question the way that was not well done that does not find a link between sodium intake and high
pressure-- high blood pressure is the one a makes headlines with a meta-analysis done about saturated fat that was not well done that included trans- fats with unsaturated fats and compared saturated fats to supposedly unsaturated fat, but actually included trans- fat. that gets huge headlines and everyone is like there's not enough evidence, but very few people have the ability to look at the data and see a trans- fat study was included and to rerun the meta- analysis without the trans- fat study and show yes, the dietary guidelines and most scientists, the american heart association is correct it does raise cholesterol, so i think there is a number of-- the ways people get their nutrition information is kind of inherently fraud with-- fraught with them getting that information, so cutting through the confusion is challenging because the center for nutrition
policy and promotion does not even exist anymore much less ever-- >> it actually does, but okay. >> as a standalone funded agency they are now racked in that they have never had enough money for disseminating dietary guidelines for educating the public about healthy eating and so people are getting their nutrition advice, not so much from dietitians and from-- they are getting it from cracks and others and people who are holding themselves up as experts who really are not, for not following the science in the same way and from just some things i think inherently lead to confusion so i think the challenge to us today is to figure out how we can all work together in ways that will cut through that confusion and help clarify because i think anyone of us alone doesn't have the resources to disseminate the kind of science -based messages that people need and want.
>> before taylor starts because one point that margot mentioned is far as the quarks that don't agree i can see taylor chomping at the bit at some points-- >> no, i agree. >> i think that certainly relative to the sodium there are people that don't necessarily agree with margot's take. the dietary intake is being reviewed so i don't think we need to talk about that because the experts are reviewing it, but go ahead. what i hope now is with everyone laying it out we can have some discussion about how we can communicate. there will be disagreements, i mean, i appreciate the fact that we all kind of have strong opinions on where the science--
to charlie's point, there will be-- it depends. so, how do we get past that and i will turn to taylor, margot. >> you bring up a good point and honestly it's our fault. it's everyone in the room. you know, whether you are an advocacy organization or an individual researcher or immediate individual, we often-- we will use sodium as example. we often talk about sodium, but is often not about sodium tickets about the sodium potassium balance a we tend to in nutrition science to do research based on a reduction approach so we know a lot about what a tablet of houston will do for you or if sodium will raise your blood pressure, but what we don't know about is dietary patterns and four foods, things like that, so if you look at the studies on sodium, if you have high sodium intake and high
potassium intake you really don't see an increase risk in hypertension, but that is not communicated. it's that sodium is bad for you and it is to some extent. i agree with what you are saying. if you look at the physical activity research, they use a globalized approach so i would argue on the physical activity side. we don't really have many recommendations. osteoporosis is an area where we have specific recommendations, but we don't have many recommendations on the types of physical activity that are most in official-- beneficial and we know through our guidelines that five hours a week a moderate physical activity will keep you healthy. a lot of ways we communicate and we do research it's our own fault or i think it is because we are constantly whether you are commodity board or a food company producing an ingredient or researcher doing research or advocacy group we often talk
about one little component of the diet when we should talk about the whole big picture out there. >> we are going to go in circles >> i think this conversation is an illustration of some challenges we face. one thing we learn about what makes the information most relevant to the follower is the really ability to the information relate ability of the messenger and what information relatable is that this is someone who is knowledgeable coming yet i can understand them. so, you have made the information assessable and easy to understand, not dumbing it down, making it accessible to an audience that would otherwise have no idea what you're talking about. that the person has similar responsibilities, so i can identify with them because they are mom, dad, brother, sister, teacher, something i can relate to and they give me a specific recommendation about what i should or should not do. listening to the two of you talk about sodium, i'm beginning to
wonder who will pitch tomorrow for the royals, so it's like i'm gone. means nothing to me. it's not relatable, not meaningful. it's cute-- two tactical. it's a fine debate to have, but if you are talking to people who are not technical it's meaningless, so you have to make it relatable in terms of making it simple, easy to understand, show your credentials, expertise, talk about your values. we know values are three to five times more important in building trust and give me recommendations about what i should or should not do so i have some way to apply what you just shared with me. >> after charlie just insulting our ability to communicate i will take a deep breath and say that, you know, i will go back to the point i was thinking about after taylor was talking as i think part of this controversy is generated that it's not all naturally occurring
on the the food industry contributes a lot to the controversy with pr and advertising and claims on packaging and product promotions and it is to their advantage to have the public confused. confusion is good for business because if the public is confused they will just throw their hands up in the air and say these nutritionists keep changing their mind all the time. first it's good for me are bad for me. so, i'm not going to bother with sodium metal. that is good for the company. they can keep all the salt in their products and don't have to reformulate and then it's also good for them in terms of public policy because they can go to congress and say look, the science is so confusing. we don't really know about sodium, you know. we need the dri before we can go forward before we can continue. if you look at who is actually talking about sodium, for
example. you can listen to the school nutrition association and conagra or you can listen to the american heart association, the american medical association, american association of pediatrics, usda, i can go on and on so you have the consensus on the side who has looked at the science and a pretty recently or you can look at a couple of rogue scientists and companies who have a stake in the answer coming out in a way that runs contrary to the science. >> kind of gets us into that conversation of conflict of interest versus bias and i think a lot of times the food industry suffers because i have a financial conflict of interest because i'm running a study for a company and that gets disclose, but what does it necessarily get disclosed are individuals biases, so my love
and life are the purple pigments in the blueberry. i have a tattoo. i love it. never taken any company funding for any study i have done on this, but i have a lot of bias there, but that does not always get disclosed are out there whether it be in the media or scientific community or within policy so when you look at groups like american heart association-- we will go back to sodium. it's an easy one to pick on. there are people within the american heart association that have a lot of bias doing a lot of that research and believe firmly what they do. >> zero-- informed is not a bias and often times those things are mistaken or quincy of looked at the science and form an opinion that is not a bias, i mean, i would love it if sodium, high sodium intake was not a problem and i could eat all the salt i wanted. >> you're assuming there's one
answer and there's not one as if you look at people with hypertension and they also have high potassium intake it's not a problem so not just about sodium what i am trying to say using personal example of somewhere that i'm very intellectually bias when it comes to these. i could get on tv and talk about it and we could do a whole panel and i would talk for hours, but when it comes to being financially conflict and let's take that clinical trial of the bacteria. yes, i have a company funding it and i have disclosed that conflict of interest or call us to god, i don't care if it works or not. i'm running the study. i won't be heartbroken versus this not having an effect on cardiovascular disease, i mean, i have based a lot of my career on that and done a lot in that area. >> i'm going to let her speak again so we can keep him engaged.
i will ask you see-- is something as you are speaking. yoga to speak until i do. just to add to the conflict of interest is the whole fundraising and how organizations outside of the food industry raise money based on positioning and things like that and how does that fit into conflicts of interests? >> the work we have done particularly philosophers are interested in following funding with a high degree of trust in academics believe in academics even though there's industry funding for academics aren't likely to put their academic career at risk for a single study or a couple of studies. if the only thing you have done a study blueberries for your entire career and your funded by the blueberry foundation that might be a issue. >> i'm not funded by the blueberry industry. >> it doesn't matter who is doing it. science is not values neutral.
people come to the scientific process with their own background and bias experience and to assume anyone is coming to the scientific process devoid of any values or preconceptions about what should or should not happen is simply not accurate, so we have to recognize that regardless of who is doing that and clearly some bias is greater than others and all that needs to be recognized and disclosed and discussed in terms of what impact does it have an clearly when you have a preponderance of science is a compelling case. it's also dangerous to assume that there is pure science and commercial science and other science there are different levels of bias, but no science is that-- value neutral. >> i'm going to actually with that turned it over to the audience and i assume-- i cannot see well-- i will assume there are microphones out there for questions. stand up.
>> thank you. i have a question for charlie. i would love to hear you talk more about philosophers and you mention oriented ethically, but don't we have a lot of different ethical values and when we-- i was making a note to myself of some of them that occur off the top of my head. we have animal rights. we have philosophers presumably really focused on that issue. we have others that are focused on the environment. we have your colleagues focused on human health, but on some of our issues it seems we have tension between trying to advance worthy goals. how does that all play into your approach? >> we do have conflicting values and lots of people who bring different ethical perspectives, so what the followers looking for someone who shares their
ethical perspective and can give them permission that is the right thing to do. we tend to be less extreme so they are not likely to be polarizing. they won't want to make choices they believe are good for people animals on the planet so some kind of ethical construct supported by science. i would like to borrow a quote from jack bobo. we were on a panel at another event and he said if people trust you the science does not matter and if people don't trust you the science doesn't matter, so it's only after you cross that trust threshold and that's driven by the perception of shared values. about ability for the philosopher to say i have looked at the information and i believe this is the right thing to do and here's the evidence to support it. that's all the follower will be looking for. the philosopher won't go into the peer-reviewed data, but they will look at credible sources that have gone through the peer-reviewed data.
scientific it will want to see the peer-reviewed studies. the philosopher once to see what credible sources have said about the study in the follower only want someone to tell them that the peer review studies are okay so it goes farther back in that alignment. you are right, there is a diversions of ethical expectations, but there are fairly growing ethical mainstream ethical concerns related to the care of animals, treatment of the environment, treatment of workers that are becoming part of the mainstream consciousness as people want to be more responsible consumers and purchasers. research done took a look over the last several years about what do consumers believe has the greatest impact on society, is in my voting behavior, my activity in my local community by purchasing behavior and most recently for the first time ever purchasing behavior surpassed either my voting behavior or involvement in my local community. for millennial's engine at its
larger percentage believing there purchasing behavior has a greater impact on society than anything else they do. so desired to be a responsible citizen and consumer has become a mainstream and i think we will continue to be. of the question now becomes who's involved in the conversation of what-- what constitutes responsible. >> one thing that is interesting that has changed over the course of my 25 years is that i used at scientific debates with other scientists or with other health professionals, but now i find even among the public that people have strong opinions about the science even when they are not scientists so we might say the fbi that the evidence shows coconut oil will raise your blood cholesterol relative to healthier unsaturated fat and people will say to me, you know friends and others like that might be your science, but my science or my opinion and their
opinion of the science trumps even though they've never read a study, but they have read blog posts, herded on television shows or read it in the news so they have these very strong opinions about science that are really not based on science, not at least on this kind of science >> may i. >> you are allowed. >> so we operate a website called best food facts. if you slice the onion gnomon it actually absorbs all the art bacteria in the room and prevention from getting sick [we do have a couple people aware of that. that is a popular fact circulating across facebook every year and we get 30 to 40000 people searching that every flu season, every january
or february. doctor ruth mcdonald had of food science at iowa state university has put a blog about no, it's not true and get to this one woman came back and said completely ridiculous, old wives tale survives for a reason work i have had a cut onion on our counter every flu season since my son was 12 and he's graduating from high school. he's never had a cold and the way you can tell that it's absorbing the bacteria is that it turns black. so, all the bacteria absorbed out of the environment, but to your point, i mean, here you had a department chair of food science at iowa state which seems like a ludicrous claim to those of us in this room and yet cindy came back and said nope, i don't buy your science because anecdotally i believe this to be true and i will continue it because it aligns with my values and belief system. >> i would just say having advanced degrees in nutrition and those that have never read a
study in nutrition, working with industry has been my entire life, so welcome to the club. other questions from the audience? >> this question is for charlie. i'm curious if there were any other demographic or other statistical characteristics of these particular groups that you can talk about? >> there are. we are more information. unfortunately, my math skills are not great. i went to the university of nebraska where the end stands-- the n stands for knowledge. philosophers are more likely to be women, highly educated, but we have information where these people are going for information we know who they believe, what brands they buy and what they follow so we have more
information about each of these. scientific's tend to be more male than female in terms of their approach. followers are mixed. 39% of the overall population and tend to be less educated, less scientifically literate and less confident in their opinions pick wishful thinkers tend to be younger going for click bait. existentialist tend to be male. people or influence each-- influence each other. there is more information about each of these cohorts, yes. >> while we are waiting to see if someone else has a question-- i don't see any right now. when talent to ask all of you is as we look at the changing demographics and interests and values of consumers the definition i guess or if i don't know if that's the right terminology, but the way people talk about health and the way
consumers think about being a responsible consumer as you noticed or responsible purchaser how has that changed how we communicate from the standpoint of-- from the nutrition science margot was talking about and taylor as well. we can also talk about animal rights or gm owes-- gmo's. how to those change the way we communicate and some of the things that we are trying to communicate may not have as much impact what we know as scientists on health as what the consumer frankly feels confident that they do and so how has been changed to medications? can we do anything to bring back some of the mainstream or move toward where the consumer is? >> i feel like i have to be a lot more careful in crafting
messages that are science -based then i did in the past. i used to think about just from social marketing standpoint of how you do appeal to the consumer an appeal to their needs and finding a way to frame the message appropriately, but now i feel like i have to be careful not to offend when the science runs counter to values that i know are held by people and so we are more careful in how we craft certain messages where we know there is a strong value that is inconsistent with the science and figure out what is the right way to bridge that. >> i think, you know, consumers are experts in food. we all eat, so everyone has their own personal experience with food and so i like the difference pockets of demographics you presented because you see if you take my
blog, for instance i have a lot of dietitian and health professionals and people actively seeking information that followed my blog. >> i'm sure you follow my blog. >> and there is this group of individuals where they will approach you because they have seen you on tv or senior research and may ask an opinion, but they want you to-- it's their opinion, so they will have a strong opinion about something and you will not change that opinion, so that's kind of where it gets complicated for me. i will have someone that comes up to me and says how many servings of fruit you think i should have a day and i will point them to the dietary guidelines, but it has to be organic it's you say actually if you look at it from a health perspective organic is not different from conventional and then all of a sudden you have grown up like truncate-- 20 red
flags and they will go in for their opinion because in their mind they are an expert and consumed organic products and they think it makes them feel better weather is the placebo effect or not they think it's part of their diet and they feel better and more active and so from that aspect they are as much as in experts as i and so it's being able to have a dialogue, but kind of understanding they see themselves on the same level as you. it so much more powerful. if you put that onion on your counter and you did not could the flu it to does it matter how many studies show that it doesn't work, that people personal experience is very powerful them and it's hard to overcome that with mere facts. >> we were talking about the
poor crowdsourcing so i might get a bit from a blog and i might get some on the radio, something from the friends, the loudest voice on facebook that i read and then i synthesize that and look at the sources to align my bias. one of the challenges we see as we finish secondary research identifying 256 different attributes of corporate social responsibility the different companies try to manage your queue cannot manage 256 priorities. it's not possible so if you are particularly a large food company that becomes challenging with an important opportunity to clarify what are our positions, what we stand for so you don't play whack a mole, but truly have a platform to say here's what we believe in. we appreciate your values that are consistent with our values and hs the data to support that so you have a framework where you can address the next set of emerging issues whatever they happen to be because there will always be other emerging
issues. >> any questions? okay. >> thank you for the discussion. it's been interesting. charlie, i'm sorry the question is focused on you, but the data you shared lead to a question of talking about policy. do you have insights on how consumers use the legitimacy of the policy because we have it at the local level, state level, federal level and also get it from a global leather whether it's the world health organization, how did they view that policy is legitimate policy >> there are growing questions about that, growing skepticism about the trustworthy nature of all institutions. we can talk about why that is in how we got to this position. one thing that would be helpful particularly for the regulatory agencies in dc is if you would be willing to be more vocal, not in defense of any product, not in defense of any ingredient,
but in defense of your process to be able to stand up when someone says i have a real question about this ingredient of this pesticide or that process. it's not the agency's job to defend a commercial product or it's the agency's job to defend their process and in the absence of those voices aggressively defending their processes creates a phenomenal vacuum that others will feel, so let's take the pesticide company with something registered and they are attacked for something so they are asking agency to step in and we are not going to defend the pesticide company, you don't need to, but you need to disregard that product. it's important in terms of maintaining public confidence that the agency's stand up and say regardless of the product we have an incredibly rigorous process and we got scientists and others who are dedicated their careers to evaluating the data and making absolutely certain that we fulfill our mission of making sure anything
in commerce has passed these rigorous standards and it's a for you and your family so others the acme company with a brown coming or smith company you can be comfortable these products and commerce are safe and effective peer it we won't speak to that specific product and that's not our role. we need the agencies to be willing to step into that void and have the conversation and defend the process-- products. i'm going to ask one more question and then maybe allow you guys to some up from their. you know, the title of this panel was food science and the consumer. part of the dynamic there is transparency. everyone has done a lot of work on that and has a lot of opinion about it, but is there a point-- where is the point, is there not
a point where too much information is out there for the consumers to know how to evaluate it or maybe presented in a way, not necessarily-- maybe it should all be out there , all the studies of the data we talk about, but how do we evaluate being transparent and yet it's being able to communicate to the consumer? >> i will start. >> kind of screwed it up. >> we spent the last five years late and transparency doing qualitative and quantitative research and we just released a white paper on transparency, transparency roadmap and we will work on a transparency index and i think there is confusion about what constitutes meaningful transparency. it's whatever level of information that consumers interested in knowing and that becomes a complex question, how much is that.
it's generally about storytelling and providing information allowing for reassurance. often times people conflict and confuse transparency with traceability. not always the case. doesn't necessarily mean making sure all raw data is available. for the vast majority of consumers and you will never make everyone happy, for the vast majority of consumers they are looking for information to give them permission to believe what you are doing is consistent with their values and you have data to support that claim it's about being willing to share and one of the things if you talk to the companies that have made commitments to transparency they will tell you they have a fairly significant but if it of the doubt simply by engaging in the transparency journey to be open and talk about what they will share and when it will be available, it will be perfect. they will make mistakes, but by making the effort to be transparent they engender trust.
>> you know, sometimes when i think about transparency i kind of wish i could wear a hard hat with a video camera like on it all the time because you know how transparent can you get and it gets to be where you end up as a targets for, you know, anything and going back to open data, i mean, it's scary for an academic. i was using the example earlier on a colleague of mine and i'd published a meta-analysis a few years ago, a well-known scientists, much more well-known than i am and the systematic review, the meta- analysis data was all published online so you could go back and run the same statistics and find the same outcome as we did. that doesn't keep someone that maybe it's not as qualified or doesn't have a background in
statistics, biostatistics like the person who was working with me on the meta-analysis from going in, using a different model, finding a different outcome. john hathcock used to tell me if you torture the data statistically it will give and tell you what you wanted to and so open data is really hard to the other side of it is i am human. i could make an error every now and then. i could accidentally type in a wrong on an excel spreadsheet and it is scary from an academic standpoint because then you see the media backlash and the repercussions of all of that. when it comes to open data and transparency yes, we should do it, but it is a scary thing. >> so, i started as an undergrad math major and sometimes i wish i stayed with like math or physics because then as a scientist you can see the
evolution of the science without the whole world watching, but in nutrition people are so interested in what they eat and we all eat every day that the scientific process plays out in such a public way that you are going to see studies on both sides and so if you only look at headlines peaked a different view than if you look at the totality of the evidence and the consensus that there is or the good studies versus the bad studies, big enough to pick up a statistically significant effects selling nutrition our science plays out for all to see and it's messy and i think we-- pulling back on information is not enough. it is not in this digital age so we really need to think about how to help people navigate this information environment. of the other part of it is that we have to recognize information alone is not enough. education alone is not enough in this food environment that we
live in its so hard for people to eat well that we also need to make changes to the food system that support their intentions and make it more possible for them to eat well. >> i cannot thank you all enough i think this was a very well discussed issue amongst all of you. you all gave really great information and please join me in thanking charlie and taylor and margot for joining us today. [applause]. >> thank you, beth. so, now, we are going to break. we have some refreshments. we are a little bit ahead of schedule, but we will start back in here promptly at 3:30 p.m. i wanted to reiterate because i
messed up the name earlier, central union mission food recovery network will take the food it recovers and it's a great organization, so keep them in mind if you plan on it but. there are some refreshments outside. please talk with someone you don't know and make some contacts and follow-up. yet people's e-mail addresses and this is the place to start some relationships that really move that food bond. >> we have been bringing you the
41st annual food policy conference from the consumer federation live all day on c-span2 guys you heard the conference is taking a break for about a half-hour and when they resume we will be back live here on c-span2. until men comments from the conference earlier today from former agriculture secretary dan glickman. [applause]. >> thank you, kate, very much for inviting me. my long resume for about 30 different jobs over the last 20 years, so it's been difficult for me to keep a job. im not exactly retry-- i'm not exactly retired. in any event this is a great group and many in this room know much more than i do. i think kate for introducing me. their meat division is started in wichita and a lot of my
interest, agriculture, aviation grew out of being from that part of the country, but what i want to do today is quickly go through what i call major trends affecting the food and farm communities took obviously the farm bill a lot of this stuff. we can talk about this at the end because congress is wrestling with that right now, but i spend a fair amount of time with congress because i run the aspen institute congressional program which means i tried to provide continuing education opportunities for members of congress for both parties. on that the bipartisan politics center why work with republicans and democrats to bring people together and you can see what a wonderful job i have done over the last couple of years. think how bad it would be if i was not there, that's all i can tell you. amico through some issues i think are more top-of-the-line issues. the first one i thought i would talk about his transparency and that is becoming a much bigger issue for consumers in the food
industry. was information are consumers demanding and how well the food industry and food companies choose to ride that information and not only big companies, but lots of smaller startup companies into the field. what will the government's role play in this issue of transparency either through regulation or through encouraging companies to be more transparent. is clear the food companies are more aware of the challenges, so are their shareholders than they were 15 or 20 years ago whether it's labeling, whether its environment, cargo is been involved with this. i have seen mcdonald's making an effort to reduce carbon emission we have a shareholder democracy movement in this country pushing companies to do things that the government can't even get them to do, so the world is changing in this issue of transparency, what does the consumer need to
know? what does the consumer want to know and how do you address those things in an objective way? a second trend has to do with the future the food industry especially the retail landscape. giving consumer demands the marketplace for food products is changing rapidly. .. marketing of food, farmers markets, and native ways people are getting their food these days. that's going to change and you ask yourself what will the grocery store of the future look like. could it be that outside of today's store topics like produce, meat, bakery, seafood and wine, et cetera while inside
the store become packaged goods only? who knows what is happening, but the inside of grocery stores are going to change. the outside is going to change. the people are going to get their stuff, get it in a different way. and change is happening in this world and want to give you some parallel to the entertainment industry because when i was at the motion picture association we dealt with this issue, this rapid change. my predecessors name was jack. he was for 38 years head of the mba come work for president johnson. there was an issue involving something called betamax. anybody in this room remember betamax? okay. the betamax issue had to do with recording movies and selling them on devices that would look as antiques today. he went to testify to the judiciary committee and he said the betamax is the jack the ripper of the movie industry. it will destroy it.
and what happened was it actually saved it. not so much the betamax but through the dvd, became the way consumers wanted to see their entertainment. dvds got expensive and also it was pretty easy to pilot them, and modernization of them became a problem. now we have streaming and cable whether it's netflix are hbo or showtime or hulu or effects. people like the convenience and the cost of this new model. it doesn't mean it won't have a movie -- does mean we won't have theaters but it does mean that they've moved the on traditional models of the 1930s through the 1970s. that's been a been a revolution in the entertainment industry. in part by the interest for a long period of time. accepted and are working with it. some of the same trench happening in the food industry
as well. and we should figure out what it looks like in the long-term how it affects consumers, how it affects particularly for consumers they may not have the access the more affluent consumers will have. that's a big change in the business that's happening. the third change has to do with nutrition, and i have thought for some time that the relationship between diet, nutrition, health and agriculture have been for stovepipe industries. none of which have kind of worked together to blend to figure out how one relates to the other. pretty soon the dietary guidelines will be coming out actually 221, i think kathy in front of me was involved in some of those things when she was at usda. usda and hhs are beginning to seek input and poverty topics to be covered under these new rules and advisory panels will be appointed, chosen soon into what
recommendations relative to sugar, sodium, dietary fibers and other basic nutrition items. you can be sure every interest group, every commodity group in the world is going to want to try to influence these things but people eating habits are changing and more and more health is becoming a bigger factor in what people are eating. i knew it was a french philosopher who said you are what you eat, and one trend as an agent is the growing relationship with the diet, nutrition, and health, and agriculture. and here are the facts. obesity among all levels of populations is not coming down. among school-age populations there was some leveling off of trends towards higher obesity but just recently there were studies that showed obesity is, in fact, going up. the fastest-growing part of the
federal budget by far and away as health care costs. medicare and medicaid costs along with interest on the national debt, and it looks like the defense budget are driving about 90% of the budget of the united states of america. and those healthcare are largely chronic diseases, diseases like type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some form of cancers, arthritis. and so this epic healthcare problems are caused by lifestyle changes obviously, exercise but a big giant part of it is diet, has to do. that of course is very complicated because of marketing and advertising and food and there is no simple answer. so we would sit for every consultative problem there is a simple and wrong solution. and in the case of this issue
there is no one simple solution. but i thought i would explain for you a moment, i i participd in a bipartisan policy center task force on nutrition that affected snap. i'm a big fan of snap but we recommended that sugar sweetened beverages be removed from the s.n.a.p. program in the same way snap does not allow tobacco, alcohol and a few other food items. i'm going to first uprising on the huge support of s.n.a.p. i think the s.n.a.p. allotments are too small in this country, and i am very much opposed to the harvest box proposal that the administration has proposed and -- [applause] and i also think that the proposal to reduce the s.n.a.p. budget by over $20 billion over the next ten years on wrongheaded. s.n.a.p. is one of the great programs of the united states, and it's countercyclical. so if unemployment goes up, and
step benefits go up, and when economic times get better would say have over the last year or two, the numbers come down. strong support for s.n.a.p. at a duly the in in s.n.a.p. has not been the real priority of s.n.a.p. we propose in a report doing several things. this is report shared by myself, by bill frisk, former senate majority their endovascular surgeon has performed thousands of hard operations. the report acyclic did a couple things. it strengthened and we are strengthening incentives for fresh, for fruits and vegetables, not just fresh because frozen can have great, great value as well. we proposed improving s.n.a.p. education which i've had great trouble believing that it is much of an impact on what kids eat in the s.n.a.p. program but
needs to be improved and strengthened. we asked for better coordination between medicaid and s.n.a.p. the majority of people on medicaid are s.n.a.p. recipients, and yet the twain shall never meet, for stovepipe sugar and often in most dates there is not the coronation figure out what are the healthcare problems and choices that s.n.a.p. recipients have an halfwit better improve their nutrition so that their medical conditions improve at the same time. we sought better data to indicate that what is the evidence as relates to s.n.a.p. benefits? are dated and you him or this later from others that says essentially the differences between what people buy on s.n.a.p. and what people are not s.n.a.p. buyers are not materials but there are differences. there's a higher percentage of sugar sweetened beverages purchased by people on s.n.a.p. it's not gigantic but it is
there. the data is just, it's mysteriously missing in terms of what people in what stores are one step all the one recent years usda has done a better job. there is evidence s.n.a.p. recipients by more sugar sweetened beverages than not s.n.a.p. recipients, as a percentage of the purchasing dollar. we have recommended to congress that they take a look at this and they make this recommendation. i know there are many other factors causing obesity and heart disease and diabetes in younger and younger ages, as i mentioned, marketing and advertising, food deserts, lack of medical education training. most doctors are not trained, not really train in the science of nutrition. but at the same time it does seem to me that a program that's based on health and the
fastest-growing part of federal budget approaching almost $1 trillion our health costs in large part because of chronic diseases, caused because of diet and related factors that we should at least be open to looking at this issue. and i understand it's a tough public policy because a lot of the retailers are not really happy with his proposal, and some of the antihunger groups are not happy with the proposal because there's a a belief we shouldn't treat s.n.a.p. recipients any different than non-s.n.a.p. recipients. i understand the proposal and those views of the healthcare implications are so monumental for our country that we at least have to be open to the fact that there is this other side of the equation which is a public health side of the equation. and by the way there are some good signs happening out there, farmers markets are increasing. helping people buy fruits and
vegetables more easily, available. we have double box programs. more states are beginning to require states and although sometimes it's very expensive for them. but nutrition has to be a big part of the game -- physical. a few years back i was on a council on foreign relations program on non-communicable diseases in the developing world. so these were diseases like cardiac, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, cancer. not diseases like ebola or malaria. and in working through this report i was amazed at how little attention was given to nutrition. there was a lot of attention given to stopping smoking, a great idea, and getting more pharmaceuticals into the developing world. but nutrition had not made its way into this discussion very much. it's just as bigger problem in the united states as it is in
the developing world. and so i wanted to mention that you because i'm sure it's a subject that's going to come up and probably doesn't get a fair amount of discussion. just a couple of other things i want to discuss, and one relates to the role of science. we are seeing some trends in biotech falling on all the controversy in the whole gmo debate and especially with gene editing, which i think offers a great new opportunity in the science world. i recall i've that the u.s. delegation of the world food summit when i was at usda, and we had a a press release at tht world food summit where i was tilted by totally disrobed and naked protesters with signs on their bodies. of course i didn't look at the signs said no gene beans and the naked truth. my mother and father, , actually
my mother was very upset. my father was more interesting would it look like rather than what it said. but we can't stop signs from proceeding so there were a lot of key issues. in the area of gene editing and i think usda will soon be publishing proposed rule to implement a a national bioengineered food disclosure act. i i assume there would be a lotf comments from folks in this room. but the key issue will be in the rulemaking on this issue of gene editing, do we require highly refined ingredients like soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup or refined beet sugar or other kinds of things be disclosed? how is this debate going on the future of this technology? are we going to go back into the whole gmo debate where people are killing each other all the time, or are all sites could feel like you want to be positive contributors to a
collaborative type situation? i think that's a big issue in the coming years in agriculture, this'll issue of of biotech and gene editing which is a different technology, gmos. a related issue is research. i'm on the board of the foundation for food and agriculture research. some of you may know this thiss created in the last congress, kathy was very involved in this particular proposal. the model is partnerships across food and ask sector, to kind of bootstrap additional funding on more cutting edge projects that u.s. government, usda can't afford to do as a research budgets in real terms keep going down year after year after universal leveraging federal dollars. the priority of using the latest technology, someone to give you a couple of examples of what we are doing. one is that we are trying to harness the power of photosynthesis. there must be some scientists in
this room, but largely we've not had any what i call transformational breakthroughs in photosynthesis in decades, if not centuries. how to increase yields and make plants grow faster, hardier and more resistant to disease. we have a partnership with the gates foundation, university of illinois and the u.s. government to try to deal with that issue. we have crops of the future, collaborative looking at what we will be eating in the next 20, 30, 40, 50 years and how should we be researching those things. we have consumer surveys on food choices, what do consumers really want in this modern world and what is the role of marketing and advertising in this process. a lot of discussion of urban agriculture like vertical farming, building of consortium to figure out how you can produce crops take the fruits and vegetables in maybe nontraditional ways. and, of course, we end up with
the farm bill which thank goodness i'm not an expert in anymore, and it's called by the fact there seems to be a collision between the people who want to preserve s.n.a.p. largely in its current form and people who want to make major changes in the s.n.a.p. program. i think there are a few differences on the farm and commodity tiles then in this particular one. myself, i think nothing is perfect but s.n.a.p. works pretty well to be honest with you. we are the only country in the world that has a program, a massive, multibillion-dollar program helping people eat and get a nutritious diet. nobody else in the world, they of other social type programs and the ad hoc programs but we should not be using s.n.a.p. as a way to conduct some sort of major welfare reform when i don't think that we needed. i do think the in in s.n.a.p. needs to be reinforced.
it's not just a quantity program. it is a quality and nutrition program as well and we really need to focus much more of that than anything else. so let me just close by saying, i mentioned kind of the movie analogy but some of you may remember the movie the graduate with dustin hoffman, and remember the famous word that is prospective father-in-law came as advice for the future? that word was plastics, and then remember he said, what would you? he said some, there's only one thing, just remember this word, plastics. i'm from that generation because i saw that movie i think in 1960 sixth and i was a senior in college going to the vietnam war movement, and it was nice to have a simple answer to the problems of the world at that time. there is no simple answer but i would have to tell you that the whole world of food and
agriculture, it goes to the heart of what we are all about. there's so much opportunity at all levels from farmer level, production level, processing level, food company levels and the other advice i would give is remember that it's not just the foodies that are interested in all of this. napoleon once said that war is too important to be left to the generals. and i make the point that the food industry and agriculture is too important just to be left to people in the food industry and agriculture because everybody eats, everybody has his or her own opinion about what should be happening in this area and working together and collaboratively i think we can really make a better world in this area in the years to come. so thank you all very much. very glad to be here, , and i'll be glad to take any questions or comments. you know, i was the most
assaulted secretary of agriculture. they threw pies at me and they threw infected buffalo got at me, and i'm trying to get what else, and, of course, the naked protesters. and so i assume there will be no naked protesters in this room. the rest of it i don't know, but anyway, be glad you any questions or comments of memoirs of an ex-politician. [applause] >> and if you could say your name, your affiliation, too, please. >> robert, a student. i'm not going to disrobe for this question. [laughing] and i appreciate that may be sensitive so if you prefer not to answer, that's fine. in your interactions post partial retirement with members of congress through your various work, what area defined at the current members of congress are
most ignorant of in the areas that the cfa is coming and that we're covering here today? >> first of all most of them are not ignorant. most of them are smart, , capab, loyal, patriotic people. it's just when they get into a group like this isa becomes very tribal. when i take members on in these coverages and we have breakfast, i mean people behave, republicans and democrats treat each other with dignity and respect. so that's what i'm not, the into the world is not here. i'll give you one of my, some of it own opinions. i think there is not enough of a knowledge of science in the congress. we've abolished the office of technology assessment, and the whole world of facts, , fake fas and real facts and all the other adjectives describing facts. is excited by the fact that
basic knowledge of science can interest in science policy is not part of the process. it encourages sometimes a national attitude about being too cavalier with hostile you feel about something where it's not justified by the fact i think that's certainly a big problem. two other things. congress is in article one part of our government. founding fathers were intentional making congress article one, not article ii. they had to start acting like you are article one, okay? the president is not article one. he is article ii. and so an assertive congress, responsible in charge of policy is really important for this country. we will see what happens as this election year goes on. i'm not going to go into great deal on that point but i think i
made my point as clearly as i can. those would be two of the things. the third thing which doesn't really relate as much to the food industry because there's been more bipartisanship than most other areas. i since people are really trying to work together now in food and agriculture with some of these complex issues. but the metastasis of money and politics is destructive to this country. it leads into gridlock and it is weakening america and it allows others like the chinese and the brazilians to step ahead of us, whether its research area whether it's in a policy area. it infects both sides of the political aisle and something has to be done about that. >> any other questions? i think webb look at a time. i'd know, secretary glickman, i
like you talk all of it more about bipartisan policy center soda recommendation and what change if anything for you in making a recommendation? >> you meet on a step proposal? >> yes. >> like i'm not necessarily personally the poster boy for good nutrition, you know, and so i unlike most people begin the agent fletcher goes up a bit and cholesterol goes up a little bit and some people feel it's the natural order of things which it really isn't. it has a lot to do with our lifestyle, general lifestyle in this country. but when i see the numbers of the federal budget and i don't have to tell you what the last appropriations of tax bills have done for our deficit. it's going to go exponentially. and i see the role of healthcare costs in that thing, that it may
be realized that i had some concerns about differentiating step benefits from nonstop benefits, and i don't, i don't want this to become like a new york, new york, thing, do it here and do it next year for candy and make sure for something else. that's not the point. sugar sweetened beverages are by and large items that metabolize directly into the liver and cause a whole host of medical problems. and if people want to buy these on their own, that's fine. but using federal taxpayer money to buy something that is virtually no nutritive value at all and leads to massive healthcare cost, it's a problem. i talked at length with sender frisk about this picky says he's operated on thousands of heart patients, both microsurgical transplant surgery in that kind of thing and he says you look in those arteries and you really get the feeling about what,
what's happened to peoples lifestyle and diet. i think we can do some good. that's the thing. just to get the level of debate, we should be focusing much less on issues like work requirements, which used people with small children are all the other eligible to requirements, those things are not necessary by and large the program operates reasonably freely from people taking advantage of it and using the system wrongfully. what we should focus on is both quantity and quality and nutritional quality of the food that they put into the mouse. i watch a lot of television. if i were born 50 years ago, i wouldn't have any mental capacity whatsoever because that's all it would have been doing is watching television. i'm old enough sullies i've lived a life between now and then and so it's not quite as much to me.
i watched the pressures in the influences that are on people especially kids in terms of what they eat and what they do. the amount of time spent on social media and the amount of time watching television, what messages of their giving. i'm thinking to myself this is not good for a country that wants to be strong and healthy. i took my message of the levit, what can i do in the program i at least know a little bit about, and that was s.n.a.p., and at least get people to discussing it seriously. that was why i kind of change my views on this part of the program. i don't want it to be misled that i believe s.n.a.p. needs a major overhaul. it does not. it actually needs an increase in funding, not a decrease in funding. >> there's one, this lady right there. last question. >> thank you very much for your comments. since he got such good success
kind of in these smaller groups with republicans and democrats getting together what advice would you give so that could be replicated in a big way and could have more -- >> very good question. so remember that country was set up not to work very well. we have separation of powers, checks and balances. effectively our founding fathers and mothers although the when many mothers back then, but there were a lot of women involved, decided that the want of one foot on the brake and what foot on the accelerator at all times. they wanted to make progress slow and methodical because it didn't trust government very much. that works but it only works where you can build consensus, where you can work together. because if you can't work together and build a consensus, gridlock happens, paralysis happens. there are an awful lot of members of congress who really do work together.
last year members pass the 21st century cures act, you may call that was republicans and democrats in the house and the senate got together to dramatically increase funding for medical research and very positive step. but it doesn't seem to happen on a lot of the big things, and the rhetoric and the viciousness is still too high. look, all they can continue do is try to get people together to work together. it historically has worked very well in agriculture and been one of the clearly a person areas. does disturb me that seems to be breaking down all the levit now. i hope that is not the case. quite frankly, i was lucky, i left before then, there's been so much of the time raising money that when you spend all this time dialing for dollars, it really is difficult to legislate very well. and in addition to that there's so much money coming into politics that if a member of
congress or sender, a good one of either party, once to take any position that's risky, you might find yourself $250,000 worth of television advertising the next weekend. i keep telling a lot of these people there's no harm in losing. sometimes losing isn't such a bad deal. after all i lost, i became secretary of agriculture and chief lobbyist for hollywood. those are not bad jobs, you know? [laughing] i'm not sure anybody else could necessarily do that, but i do think that there is probably a little too little risk-taking. i understand because nobody wants to deliberately get rid of their jobs. i go back to this point. most of these people trying to do the best under these difficult circumstances, and having, how can i say this without getting into too much trouble? let me just say this. i worked for president who was a
master at reaching consensus, and it makes a heck of a lot of difference if you have a president who wants the system to work well. and while he wasn't perfect, it was kind of heaven on earth compared to where we are right now because all i will say. thank you all very much. [applause] >> we are back live to the 41st annual food policy conference from the consumer federation of america bring you all day coverage. the event and a break, should be resuming up shortly here and we expect a discussion about the future of food assistance. programs like the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or s.n.a.p. that we just heard former agriculture secretary dan glickman talking about. looks like they are about ready to resume live coverage as well here on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> okay. so here we are for our final panel of the day, saved the best for last, or least saved a very good panel for the last. i don't want to judge. but i think you are in for a treat. we are returning to our traditional panel format, so you might notice i've gotten feedback already from some of you, and i appreciate your feedback, those of you who are food policy veterans or if this is your first time, let us know
what you like, what would you like to see more of? would you like to see more breakouts? would you like to see more panels like the ones this morning, short panels or would you like to see more presentations? so whatever the case, we appreciate your feedback. i want to introduce you to our next panels moderator, she's a president of food, nutrition and policy consultants, llc. for those of us who work in nutrition advocacy at least she can seem omnipresent and i really pray she to working with i found out as i was preparing the bios she had become a command in the navy and that's all right. she's a commanding presence. i'm going to turn over to tracy fox and she will introduce the panel.
>> thanks, thomas. that's really hard to follow. the only thing you'll ever remember about this panel or me is that she was a command in the navy. forget about all those other years of food and nutrition experience. she was the command in the navy. so it is great to be here, welcome. my name is tracy fox and am honored to be moderating this discussion here for the national food policy conference. i couldn't imagine a more timely topic, a discussion about s.n.a.p. or nutrition assistance programs today. and a particular about s.n.a.p. really the largest nutrition assistance program. and, in fact, and i'm sure others can attest there really is not a day these days that goes by when i don't get at least a dozen alerts of some type about s.n.a.p., about nutrition assistance programs, whether it's from congressional committees, organizations, a a report that was just recently released, shenanigans going on in the house agriculture
committee about regarding the farm bill is specifically about s.n.a.p., with its usda denying waiver request to restrict purchases of sugary beverages. the list is endless in terms of what is going on in this space a s.n.a.p. so this is really good tonic for this panel which is always tricky, i'm on a planning committee and we're always really trying to use a crystal ball back in february or march when planning a meeting to say what still going to be hot? what if the issue is dead? what it they pass a farm bill? right. [laughing] partially, or unfortunately, i will be what you look at it we are here, s.n.a.p. is a hot topic and remains hot topic. so this is a great time to be discussing this. i also wanted to remind everyone, you all as well as the panelists that is not just a moderated discussion with me and the panelists. we want you to think about your questions as the panelists are speaking, something charger
miller, you have a question you want to follow up on, please jot it down. i know this is not a shy group and it will be important for this long session and it's the end of the day so you need to live it up. it's warm in here. this place is incredibly bright. so do kind , keep your questions coming. i also encourage the panels to ask each other questions. ellen was asked if she'd allowed to do that, and, of course, you are allowed to do that. i know you will. so how the panel is when work is on first read the going to introduce the. you have their bios in your food policy at and their bios are pretty extensive so i would urge you to take a look at that. and then i'm going to ask them sort of the question to kind of keep it up so they can talk love about their thoughts and some of the hot topics of late. and i know ellen and lauren have slides, so when celestine you at a conference where the eighth
session is a first time you've actually seen a powerpoint slide? like never, right? never happens. you are in luck. the slides are great, visually appealing. i've seen them so it's good. you will finally get your first dose of powerpoint slides to make sure you are in withdrawal because you haven't seen a powerpoint slide in such a long time. with that i am going to introduce our panelists, again you heather bios and their bios tell you what they want you to hear. but am going to give you a little bit, share a bit of information about what i kind of know about them. bill hoagland is senior vice president at the bipartisan policy center, and while we don't know each other, in fact, it is the first day we officially met come still turns out with a lot more in common than you might imagine. like you i am now the hoosier. we moved to indiana about four years ago after lifting nearly all of my life in and around the d.c. area. i now live in a a small town in
the northern part of the state. there are many small towns in indiana, so i live in one of them. and i can call myself a hoosier. when they do that in indiana if you haven't been there like 1 million years you still get that look, not really. you go back to d.c. once in a while, right? i live there now. your family farms and it's also been recognized by the state of indiana for being in your family for over a century, and that's amazing. you have an award and acclamation for that as well. i'm involved in agricultural production. my husband and i moved to indiana and we have four raised beds in which every year to grow fruits and vegetables fixed sometimes were successful, sometimes not so much but also manage the local farmers market. and finally like my father bill graduated from the merchant marine academy in new york. i feel like we're almost family, bill. and that our next panelist is ellen teller, director of government affairs for the food research and action center, the
leading organization as many of you know, the frontlines of eradicating hunger and ellen is always wearing a frac jacket. i swear she has it now under beautiful pink outfit. there's always going to be issues and battles and successes and struggles with frac and remember back in the '90s when i was at usda and were in the midst of welfare reform and the possibility of block granting s.n.a.p., we always would ask what does frac think? in particular special what do with congressional relations we would say, what does ellen think? she really is a very respected voice as frac is in the space of food insecurity. and oran i don't know if you remember but you when i first met at a conference back in i think it was 2010 or 2011 and you are first presenting the idea the food box and hence
incentivizing food, fruit and vegetables that food market using private funds. i was thinking right, that's really going to go far, isn't it? like how can you incentivizing s.n.a.p. participants with private funds to purchase is -- i just don't see it going anywhere, oran. and you are, it's going really, really far and he has been incredibly successful in securing those private funds as well as a lot of public funds which i know he will talk about. with that ongoing to those three questions, you have to remember your question because i'm not going to restate them at each of you get your first sort of opening answer. but deal, you have an incredible background with your leadership roles on the hill and in very specific committees including the senate budget committee, as administered of food and nutrition service that agency i worked at that oversees s.n.a.p. and all of the nutrition assistance programs, not at the bipartisan policy center. can you share with us some
30,000 foot view and based on your experience how we can put in perspective this current administration and their views on s.n.a.p.? and then also what you see as some opportunities and threats regarding s.n.a.p. >> thank you very much, and let me correct tracy just one small fact. yes, i was appointed to the united states merchant marine academy in new york but i did not graduate there because the second year they put you aboard a ship and being a farm boy from indiana i'd never seen waves bigger than those behind a canoe on the wabash river. i i remember that first ship i s on, i said this isn't going to work. so after my second year at sea, i came back to a landlocked university, purdue university,
and did my undergraduate work there. so that's just a small correction. thank you all for inviting me to this 41st conference, 41 years. before i answer your questions,, tracy, about the current administrations views on federal food assistance, let me, for some of you this will not be interesting, but for some of us have been around for a long time, let's just look back a little bit on the history. because the past sometimes does at least communicate the future. i did my masters work in my graduate work on a new program in the '70s and it had just been launched, the food stamp program in 1970. as many of you may remember here, this food stamp program president kennedy launched it as a pilot food stamp program in
1961 to replace what was a been a direct distribution surplus commodities to a needy individuals. then in president johnson, in january of 19 safety four after president kennedy had been assassinated, launched his war on poverty and it was that year that we passed the food stamp act of 1964 at start of this. but 64 act gave great deference to the states and their role, the food stamp program only operated at the states request and could not operate, they could not operate a commodity distribution program at the time in the same counties or in the same places that they had a food stamp program going on. so it was somewhat limited in terms of its reach. just it was a republican,
president nixon in 1972 -- yes, it was -- who took the next step to expand the program nationwide. be careful, , listen carefully. president nixon propose that we expand this program nationwide at the same time that he propose that we eliminate the farm price support programs in this country that was creating the surpluses that supported the commodity distribution programs. now, we ended up terminating the commodity distribution program but congress maintained that price support program so it still had the commodities coming in which within come use even to this day, we still have those surplus commodities for the emergency situations that we had, disasters, in the school lunch program and other programs. but i want to highlight something, and this evening to chapman and others here, where they're at the time, , i want to highlight something that one of my staffers after come had to explain it to her a few years ago, that there's something big
happened at the end of the 1970s under the carter administration. i was an analyst at the congressional budget office at the time, the elimination of the purchase requirement. i don't know if you remember this but you had to purchase your booklet of stamps. so you had a contribution. that was a very significant change from my perspective coming down on this program. it changed and i think a change the program in such a way that it created the split personality that the program has today. free food stamps, no purchase requirement, i think ultimately change the nature of the program from a nutrition program to a nationwide universal income maintenance program. i even recall the chairman of the senate agriculture, herman talmage at that time, he argued removing the purchasing requirement would remove one remaining element that distinguishes the food stamps as a nutrition program.
so it's somewhat ironic to me that an 2008 the farm bill renamed the program the s.n.a.p. with the emphasis on the info nutrition. i go through this history to make a simple point, that the step program in the food stamp program are inextricably linked to the agriculture sector and policy as it functions today under multiple personalities. from the beginning it was seen as by some as a way to benefit farmers by increasing demand for food stuffs here for others it was seen as an income maintenance program to offset the effects of those state wide welfare programs that had an equal public. and for others it was seen as, as a talk about today, as an assistant nutrition program to increase the level of nutrition
among the poor. i i think into the program is al these things, and as such is such an important and critical program in the litany of social welfare programs, but because it doesn't me thinks it's also why it is, can be so controversial for some. so you ask me, nancy, or tracy, you asked me the perspectives of the administration towards the s.n.a.p. program. first, lord knows i am not a spokesman for the administration, and they would not want me to be their spokesman. i am absolutely sure of that, but i work for something called the bipartisan policy center so i will say something simple probably find controversy. you asked, it should not come as a surprise to you that with net farm income today, projected to decrease this year to the lowest nominal level since 2006, the lowest real level since 2002,
that the trump administration puts forth the proposal of the american heartless -- that would replace some of the s.n.a.p. dollars with a package of quote, 100% u.s. growth and produced foods. i'm not supporting it or i'm just telling you the logic that i see why, what their perspective might be. the obvious goal here is to support the farm sector. essentially, the original purpose of the distribution program and the food stamp program with the purchase requirement. second, on the goal of poverty reduction, i would simply note that estimates of this program have been, i'm sure that ellen emphasize this, that it is successful as a poverty reduction program. but you asked the administrations perspective and i will try to provide it to you. i can only conclude that they are looking at the same fax that i look at, and that is in 1980
when it was the administrator of eating food nutrition service, 13% of the population was in poverty, and there were 22 million food stamp participants then. but here in 2016 when the participation in this program has nearly doubled, 43 million, the percentage of the population in poverty has barely moved to 12.7. 13%, 12.7. so it should not be a surprise given that the 2008 act specify promoting self-sufficiency, well-being and economic mobility that, and the goal of the program, the goal of the program, that this administration expects work capable adults to prepare for work in exchange for welfare benefits. it should not come as a surprise, therefore, that they
would advance regulations that would limit a state waiver for able-bodied individuals to those counties with 10% or more unemployment. and let me just say as a sidebar, something is just not working, from my perspective, and the work welfare labor markets. if the goal of this program, one of the goals of this program is to provide, maybe even temporary income maintenance, then why, why went unemployment rate was at its peak in 2010 at 9.6%, almost 10%, back in 2010, where there were 42.9 million food stamp recipients, why we need an appointment rate today is half that, 4.1, we still have 42 million people on the step program? something isn't working. it's not just the step. it's a big issue, labor.
finally, what is the motivation of the administrations staff proposals? i think everyone in this audience knows the answer. i'm an old budget year. it's the fiscal situation facing the country. in no small part i shall, and i'm a republican, i know people still think that, and i'm not sure i want to -- let's not go there. [laughing] in no small part our fiscal situation has created 1.5 trillion unpaid for tax-cut, the most recent 1.3 trillion fiscal fiscal year 2018 appropriation bill which by the way despite with the president says there will be another 1.3 trillion appropriation bill for fiscal year 2019 for the year is over. so there's plenty of factors are that accreting the fact we're
going to look at 1 trillion-dollar deficits next year. we also spend $1 trillion annually, annually on the panoply of social welfare programs. i'm the first one to admit that the s.n.a.p. program represents 70 billion of that 1 trillion, 7%, and also interesting, the current estimate of this program are flat for the next ten years. they are not contributing to the growing expenditures. you look at the cbo current estimates, you'll see that it is basically $70 $70 billion eachr for the next ten years. so while it's not growing, while this program is not growing and you, then major expenditures of this country that are growing are in the healthcare sector. they are expected to grow, current estimates are close to six to 7% annually.
compare the two programs. 6%, 7% annual growth in health care expenditures in the country, and this program is flat. nonetheless, i think the administration's efforts to control federal mandatory spending, , well, putting aside the legislative agenda on healthcare which was a fiasco last year and with the opportunity of the quadrennial or for every five-year reauthorization farm bill at hand this year, then staff becomes the focus point for reducing its spending, nearly 30% over the next decade. i think it's clear that wasn't the justification for why they put forth the proposals which is a fiscal issue, not necessarily a nutritious issue. briefly joined last two questions. what are the opportunities? i think there are great opportunities for this program. we knew to keep innovating, making this program i would argue nutrition focused as the
central goal of the program. this is critical to my argument of the broader picture of reducing the real culprit to growing federal debt and deficits, that's controlling health care costs for the prevention, improvement of this program close to what over 60% of the food stamp recipients or medicaid recipients. i understand secretary glickman will discuss this in late equations here, a report that we put out at the bipartisan policy center a few weeks ago dede with this specific linkage. my last post on hill was senator frist bringing dr. frist into the discussion with the nutritionist and the secretaries of agriculture is why i think you have to move this program more into the nutrition category than those of the categories. what's the major challenges, finally, it's this challenge that's always been with this program, and that's balancing
the multiple personalities that the program from farm income to poverty reduction to nutrition, while achieving these goals under some constrained resources. resources. and one major challenge i would argue is to keep this program within the farm bill debate and not outside. that's the way i think to maintain the bipartisanship that is been the hallmark of this program for the last 50 years. i will leave it there. >> thank you, bill. there's a lot of following questions that i know i have and others as well, but appreciate that context and that history. i think it is important to talk about the program in that context. ellen, some similar questions, a few nuances. you've been hired as advocate and defend of s.n.a.p. throughout the years, and it must get hot tiring because they are constantly battles and our battles a lot these days to defend the program.
can you share a little bit about the main points or takeaways that you think everybody, certainly in this room, on the hill, pretty much across the country should know about s.n.a.p.? i think it's a hugely misunderstood program for as big as it is, and how long really it's been around. kind of long the same lines i asked bill, opportunities as well as challenges that you see. >> we have slides. [laughing] >> my kids would laugh behind the least technologically advanced person they know. >> there's a big green arrow. >> i got it. first of all thank you for inviting me to come. i mentioned to tracy that when i was in college and came down to washington, d.c. in 1977 to do an internship, it was with cfa. and at the time we working on something called consumer assembly, which was here at the
capital hilton hotel, so that was my first foray into washington life and i got totally bitten by the potomac fever and came back after college and worked at cfa for a couple more years before heading on to law school, which my two mentors at cfa told me i had to do at the time. so it's really nice to be back here. i really enjoyed bills sort of history of the step program because i entered into the s.n.a.p. world after law school coming to frac back then and i remember dealing with welfare reform and i leaned over to go at the time because he was one of the folks that we went to visit with in our fight to stop the block grants from happening in the house, and we prevailed and it was a really good thing for s.n.a.p.
so i work on s.n.a.p., a work of the child nutrition programs and work on the commodities assistance programs. i am tireless in my defense of these programs because i love these programs, and i love it s.n.a.p. because it i were to put together nutrition assistance program today it would look a lot like s.n.a.p. of the fact that s.n.a.p. uses normal channels of commerce. we didn't have to build supermarkets and farmers markets and corner stores and cfa and everything else in order for our clients to purchase a meal for their households. and i love the fact that it is an entitlement program in that as the economy softens, we see s.n.a.p. anticipation go up there and as the economy gets
stronger, we see s.n.a.p. participation go down. we've seen it go down since the recession, that we also know that there's this other factor influencing participation now, and that's wages. i was on the board of a food bank for many years and i still am on advisory committees here in montgomery county, and i could tell you how many people come to our food bank who i know are also participating in s.n.a.p. of course the into end of the h we see an uptick in demand, and they come dressed in their uniforms, and i know many of them are working multiple jobs, oftentimes minimum-wage, and they just can't get ahead. we all know what housing costs are like in this area, and it's just a real treadmill for them just to try to get ahead. it's really very, very difficult. but what i wanted to start out
with our some of the reasons why i love the step program. in this info graphic which my colleagues did for me, it addresses some of the pieces that bill mentioned in his remarks. this program is wonderful because it does help in a variety of ways in terms of life for low income people in this country. and, of course, from where i sit the number one factor, and you're right, it reduces hunger and food insecurity in this country, and for me that's the hallmark of this program. .. >> systemic outcomes, we know
that it improves dietary intake because people have more resources to go into supermarkets and purchase food. we know it improves the physical and mental health outcomes and snap overall reduces health spots and support economic stabilization and ensures economic sufficiency for the households that utilize the program. so it really is that support system for low income people in this country. books, wrong direction. one other thing i wanted to mention that we didn't talk about and i love listening to each economist who talk about the impact snap has in local communities and economies.
and if you think about it, you've got 41 million people who every month take their cvp card and go into local supermarkets, farmers markets, local stores and they swipe those cards and they are able to infuse those dollars locally into the system and i've been told over andover again , importance for the grocery stores and supermarkets to be able to start the merchandise and hire people and it goes to the truckers and distributors and it goes along the whole chain and a lot of stores are now buying locally sourced produce and those impacts are felt in communities so it really is an important driver for local economies. i remember listening to an economist from ksu say if you want to start economic activity in a rural area,
build a supermarket. if you want to ensure that supermarket has a strong base , do aggressive snap outreach so i wanted to highlight that as well. matters in every corner of the united states and i'm sure we will get into this through the conversation. there are a lot of myths and stereotypes about snap and we are very fond of trying to get the facts out about who is on the program and how it supports families. you can see here that snap usage is important in every community, including non-urban, non-metro communities. and it is not lost on the members of the house and senate agriculture communities that their constituents utilize this program to a great degree. this is from my friends at cv
america. lots of times when congress is looking at programs like snap and as bill mentions, there are these pressures on congress to deal with spending that has recently taken place and we like to say that if congress tries to cut this program, but charities and the religious groups cannot fill the void. you cut snap, you are cutting benefits because snap, what snap is overwhelmingly, the cost of the program is in the meals that people purchase with their ebt cards so charities cannot fill thevoid if congress cuts the program . this is a piece of legislation which is our vision for how one would tackle nutrition title of a
farm bill. it's very different in the vision that mister conaway and the president have for the nutrition title of the farm bill. >> saying that, i want to say that one of the reasons why i love working on the title and why i would love working on snap and nutrition program is because in my 30+ years of lobbying on these programs, i enjoy the bipartisan support that these programs have traditionally had. and i'm going back to the early days of, i leaned over to oregon and i said bob dole , he thought really hard to get rid of purchase requirements for back then, food stamps. it wasn't something that came out often when he was running for president but he had
experience, his family had experienced hard times in kansas and that stuck with him and i remember over the years working with dick lugar . who also was an incredible champion. and and cochran and so i love the fact that you could go into the agriculture community meeting and you've got all these different sectors and we are all pulling in the same direction . people are in their room representing different interests but we all knew we had to pull together in order to get a farm build on. so i agree that in 2014 when there was an effort in the house to rent the nutrition title out of the farm bill, we thought that would be disastrous. and we thought hard with the other titles to keep us all together because i think that link is really very important to agricultural interests, conservation, energy, nutrition, we all sort of
need to hang together in the same bucket. and lastly, i am not afraid of change in the snap program. i was talking to someone earlier that when it was first sort of introduced that they wanted to move from snap paper coupons to this thing called an electronic benefit transfer card, back then supermarkets were not accepting credit cards. but this was an entirely new concept that snap recipients would have a card that they would swipe. we were afraid what would happen if the computer system went down or what happens if they had been the only lines that the stigma would go from the coupons tothis card and we wouldn't be gaining anything . and as credit cards started
coming in to supermarkets and as the technology improves, so that farmers markets, people had their iphone and were able to swipe via the square, it became a whole new system and our clients were like, we love this. we love the card and i imagine senate agriculture communities laughing saying this is going to be the best thing for the integrity of the snap program because people wouldn't have paper currency any longer. and it turned out to be a real blessing that people are able to swipe their cards and we are hoping the generation of snap through farmers markets and others will continue to allow the technology to drive us where people can make some healthier choices. in their personal purchases of the snap program. >> but i can't go back to my seat without saying that from
where the antihunger community sets and based on reports from the institute of medicine, the number one way that snap recipients make more healthy purchases is to increase the snap allotment that they get monthly. there was a nationwide pilot called sorrow, the american recovery and reinvestment. 2009. where families not constantly 13 percent more in their snap allotments and shocking, people were able to purchase or fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein products because of that. and when the boosts stop in 2013 unfortunately, we saw
the purchasing power that people had no down. and it was a shame that they were not able to hold on to the allotment. so you're going to hear more about thatlater today . that's what we think needs to happen to the program. >> thanks and finally or in, you're the architect of the program and its expanded the odd just michigan and the farmers markets to a lot of other areas and i know it's really incredibly popular to the degree that it now has an appropriations at the usda so share with us a little about the programand also what you are most excited about and what you think are some of the biggest challenges we need to be aware of . >> thank you very much tracy and good afternoon. i the founder and ceo of fair
food network which is a national organization working with i diverse set of partners to try to develop solutions across the food system that benefits farmers and strengthen local economies and increase access to healthy food for families. especially our most underserved communities. i'm really honored to be here today to talk about snap produce incentives and tracy: double food box, you're going to hear me talk more about that. these incentives are enhancing federal food assistance forsnap in ways that and food diets , at the same time they are supporting family farmers along the way playing a pivotal role in improving overall food environments. >> so a brief history. many of you i know are aware of this but over the span of less than a decade, snap
incentives has spread from very small, scattered pilot projects to really sophisticated programming with a presence in all 50 states. >> my organization fair food network has been working on this with our double food box program since 2009. we started with a few farmers markets in the detroit area and within a few years, double up expanded into the first statewide snap incentive program through the state of michigan. >> we also were one of the first organizations in the country to bring incentives into the grocery sectors and we started with farmers markets but then move into retail grocery. throughout this expansion, we maintain a strong commitment to local agriculture as a real hallmark of our program. today, double up is active in more than 20 states across the country from oregon to texas to new hampshire and includes more than 600 farmers markets and close to 200 grocery stores.
so what are we seeing at impact. >> we know that snap incentives are writing a diverse range of positive impacts with families, farmers, grocers and local economies. and what's really remarkable is how similar the results are across all of these locations. from redemption rates to customer responses to the feedback from markets, we're hearing the same type of positive impacts regardless of what type of community or what type of environment we are in. >>. >> boat income americans, incenses simultaneously reduce hunger and improve nutrition. everywhere we hear customers say the same thing, they're eating more produce, greater variety of produce and in many cases eating lessjunk food . participants also say they are less hungry, for example in utah, studies show the number of people who were not putting sides or skipping
meals, a key indicator of food security increase nearly 50 percent after participating in double food box. in other words, under decreased and food security increase with double food box. when we look who's using these incentives, at least in dialogue evaluation published in the american journal of preventive medicine shows in detroit, it's being used most intensively by those who need it most, that is the average user having a lowerincome than the average snap participant . in addition to families, incentives are also good for participating food retailers. and i want to underscore that while we started snap incentives that farmers markets, they are no longer a farmers market phenomenon exclusively. it's happening in all kinds of retail outlets. urban supermarkets, suburban
groceries, family-owned names in small towns and also in rural america. double ups are being used in marks like those organized by food banks and in our state ymca has open markets which are pretty good food to heidi and underserved communities. across all these retail environments we see incentives are increasing produce sales, and for smaller stores increased demand from incentives help stores successfully expand their offerings and produce. which we seen everywhere from self facilities to las vegas. >> for others it is stimulating extra wholesale deliveries in a larger, landmark grocery in flint michigan he says he went from three days a week delivery of produce meeting delivery six days a week as he dialogue program started there. >>. >> plus grocers offering incentives help them better serve their customers and
assist their stores and increasingly competitive environment. when the store offers double up food box, they are getting an advantage in drawing customers in. while incentives are active in some change, we're seeing the best results in smaller regional chains and smaller independent stores. because we know the personal interaction with shoppers is critical. as well as families and grocers , they are good for american family farmers and theircommunities . maintaining the lake to local agriculture is not only possible, it also expands the benefit by maintaining a link to local agriculture, federal dollars can proactively be use to support food economies and job creation and that's the very same dollar that is supporting healthier eating and more food security. we know it's working.
we had a study from michigan state university that found that farmers market sales by more than the amount of the snap and double up that was being spent there so there's economic activity happening in addition to the benefits and the double up when you have double up in those markets. it showed that farmers with less than 10 years experience are getting the greatest economic benefit from involvement in the program. in fact, on the farm we see farmers putting more land into production, adding more crops, buying new equipment and we're seeing this across many locations. it means more sales for the companies that provide those inputs. incentives have expanded, benefits expand midsize commercial farmers that grow enough to be given to provide the volume needed by the distributors into those stories.
together, these data points point to what i would call a virtuous cycle. a diverse, positive return . snap incentives are benefiting more people in more places across the country because of the food insecurity nutrition incentive provision, a program, a grant program initiated with the 2014 farm bill. we call this program see me and it has evolved incentives from isolated work to an actual field with practitioners, researchers, evaluators and with best practices starting to emerge and incentives, the kind of incentives double up and others continue to garner cross sector support area and among practitioners their consensus is about what's working and what improvements could be made.
as is often the case, some of the least sexy ideas are the most exciting ones that could have enormous impact on the success of programs like double up opportunities like supporting technology developments, we need to make it easier and less expensive for smaller retailers to be able to participate in snap incentive programs so to take the idea of the universal ebt card that's happening now across all retailers and having a more universal technology towards double up incentives as well. we need to find better ways to share these best practices and technical assistance for programs that are in high need areas. streamlining information collection or reporting time is less strenuous. so with all that tracy, one of my most excited about? i would say the response to that question was most exciting about me in this moment is seeing how people are thinking beyond a single
discipline or a single program or a singlesolution . i think it might be the agronomic's scientist in me. because that's really my background but i love to be able to see distance thinking and action and that's what these incentives are. they are when wind programs generatingsocial , economic health benefits that are reinforcing and sustaining and it's all happening at the same time for the same dollar. that's what i'm most excited about. biggest concern is in patients. both my own impatience because i like to see things move fast but also decision-makers that are making decisions especially about funding programs like these need to provide innovators the time it works to make the case. their food networks the state have been made along the way as we've been working over the last nine years but these mistakes is that learning opportunities to refine our work in every iteration of
the program gets better. so my hope is that we continue to allow time and space for this kind of learning as we are developing these incentive programs at theknee are such a great harbinger for the future of food systems . thank you. [applause] >> it might be easier for me to stand up here and ask some questions. thank you for the opening comments and your crystal ball view on challenges and opportunities.a couple things i wanted to follow up on and phil, i'm going to kind of law this one at the two of you first. first, there's an issue about whether or not snap is responsive to changing economic conditions. you brought up pacific's, you tweeted about yesterday. why is it that in 2010, when we had 10 percentunemployment
rate , higher in certain areas, we had 42.9 people on snap but today and unemploymentrate , barely, not even a five percent we have 42 million, 700 thousand dollar person difference. you would think we would see more of a response and ellen, you brought up something about the wage issue. so phil, you askedthe question, you tweeted about it. why do you think that is and then ellen, you can have a follow-up. >> . >> i wish i knew the answer. >> get a little bit closer. >> the question wants me largely because of my reason for being here was that work that i did many years ago on my thesis. i developed a little model projecting participation in the most important variable in a little equation was the unemployment rate and it worked for a long time.
my guess is there's something much more fundamental going on in the economy have to do i think with alan has touched upon it, it has to do with the distribution of income and how that has become uneven. and i get that's my only answer to this is that the growing inequality is a bigger factor than the fact that you're unemployed. it's the distribution of income that's creating the problem but i do think this is, we ought to look at this carefully because that was as alan said, this was always meant to be a program where it was recession cyclical. and it does not appear that way. >> alan, you want to. >>. >> you did this to me all the time when i lobbied you. you would go in and we be like, we are lobbying bill holden and we have to have
all our arguments. and we lay it out and he'd say rate. >> so it was always a pleasant experience. >> we would love to see the caseload declined organically. we would love to see participation shrink for all the right reasons. it is troubling to us that you look at housing, you look at child care, you look at all the other expenses , that apply pressure on low income households. if you look at who is making up most of the snap families and of course, over 83 percent of snap benefits goto families with a child, a senior or a disabled person . we know that these are families in great need.
and i agree with you, i think that the pressures that are keeping people in poverty and keeping them secure are very troubling and i'm grateful we have a program that expands to fit the need. i think we've done a better job over the years from the snap outreach to make sure that eligible people are participating. i mean, the numbers when i first came were abysmal in terms of reaching people who were eligible. i still worry about populations that were not reaching. especially if you look at the seniors who are not participating on it snap. they see the minimum benefit of $15 a month and it's an instant turnoff for them to go through the application process or to pay someone to
drive them to the snap office for what they perceive is going to be $15. you might say that maryland, you got the minimum benefit increase for seniors to $30 in the state, that kicks in the difference and what they found is that when seniors go to apply, they think they're going to get the $30, but that's the new minimum, they found out there really eligible or $123. >> they just didn't realize that they were eligible for that amount of snap benefits. so it doesn't show you how many people in the country are in need. >> i think that's helpful. sounds like two things really, that's that the perplexing in terms of why that number has been more responsive but on the other hand i think it's going to be important to articulate ellen what you said. there is a wage differential. we've had a booming economy
but those on the lower wrong have not been wage increases like those on the upper at salons half and i think especially with his tax bill, but even going to be a greater divide and i think it's going to be incredibly important to be able to articulate back to congress for a soundbite like that is out there in terms of, we haven't seen the responsiveness. it could bereally damaging if it is not contextual soft and i think you're right, states have been much more aggressive and outraged and getting people to enroll in snap so while that , and whatever thestatistic was, in 2010 when the unemployment rate was so high , that's about when there was much more aggressive outreach on participation as well and a lot of times people have stayed on because they continue to be eligible even if they find one, two orthree jobs . i think that's a discussion and that claim is going to be reallyimportant .
in a hyper intense congress and this whole dilemma that we find ourselves in. i'm curious, you mentioned a couple studies, one from msu and a few more in terms of looking at the evidence regarding the double up food box program and i'm not sure. i thought there was a large scale one that was going on now as part of a food insecurity nutrition incentive grants and i'm curious if you could tell us a little bit more about the evaluationthat frankly is going to be really necessary in order to continue advocating and lobbying for funding . >> many of the large-scale projects that have been funded by usda had evaluations happening within their projects as we do fair food network. in addition, there is a
medical evaluation being conducted by usda. unfortunately we don't have the results of that yet but we are looking forward to that. even given all that, there's a consensus beginning to build even in peer-reviewed journals that snap incentives are really helping people eat better. that is relatively new that we have this scientific evidence, but in fact, i've got a great list here of articles that recently have been published on that and here's what we're learning. we are learning participants consistently are buying healthier shopping carts including more fruits and vegetables , a greater variety and at times less unhealthy items. when it snap incentives and double are in placeversus when they are not . and we know that different programs have different elements to them so not every
program is the same but we are seeing stronger optics, stronger use of programs when you have an incentive their that is in combination with something like snap, some kind of nutrition education or cooking classes or personal referrals by other people we know this is something that, you can build it and they will come. this is something you got to build a program and make sure people know about it .. for farmers, retailers and for many of our partners in state and federal agencies that we are now working with. >> great, thanks. that's helpful to know. i don't know i was familiar with all the research on it so that will be good to get that list.
bill, you mentioned, and secretary glickman also mentioned this today at lunch, the bipartisan policy center report leading nutrition leveraging federal progress for better health. that looks specific about how to promote health and you mention s.n.a.p., i'm passionate about a number of you in this room are as well and have heard much of mention of it. there were some good recommendations as part of that bpc report. i was just wondering if you could just touch on a couple of the recommendations you think are the most important and perhaps the most likely to can use -- continue to be in the debate. besides all of them you take. >> the background very quickly, i think i mentioned my last boss on capitol hill was majority leader bill frist, doctor bill frist. i think secretary glickman outlined his background as a
surgeon. and he called me about two years ago and said why can't we link up a letter to the medicaid program with food stamp room to improve the health of the medicaid. because it sits next to the medicaid recipients out there. they're on the food stamp, or on the s.n.a.p. program. out of that came this bipartisan work with the two secretaries of agriculture, former secretary glickman and secretary -- and doctor bill frist. out of that a great task force was together, just a couple of points that we focused on, prioritizing the n in nutrition. we like to say that. we also had strengthened staff education programs critical. aligning at the state level, a lot of the states the rumble medicaid program and the food are in the same agency. a line that of a lot better at the state level, in court next federal and state agencies.
a lot of data out there that is not being used effectively i think in making the case he's trying to make. i will say one recommendation only to incentivize the program as relates to fresh fruits and vegetables, but we wanted to link that then to the controversial one that ellen may want to comment on, that was a think secretary glickman mentioned it and that is a limitation in the s.n.a.p. program conducive s.n.a.p. for purposes of purchasing sugar sweetened beverages. putting the two together through a proposal and that propose we think is the best approach going forward. all of this is coming down to what i want to emphasize, and i did in my opening remarks, is the cost of healthcare in this country is driven largely by an obesity epidemic. it's very unusual to have on the front page of whole series of pictures of cheeseburgers with fries and slices of pizza and things of that nature 2. we have
an obesity crisis. we are behind the times. in the uk that the program going on right now that is cutting back on 20% calories coming from sugar. therefore we started the sugary sweetened beverages brooklyn four. their concern is 30% of the children that are overweight now by the cancer study, uk cancer study, indicates that by the time these millennials reach middle age, 70% will be in a difficult situation in terms of that obesity situation. so we think it is a clear linkage and one of them we think needs to be addressed, and is controversial, is to eliminate the use of the s.n.a.p. been fitbit we're not saying at all that you can't use your own resources to purchase whatever you want to purchase. there was a time when i was on
the hill we eliminated the subsidies for tobacco growers. that's all we're saying here. at least the federal taxpayer dollars should be used to subsidize these sugar sweetened beverages to the s.n.a.p. program. that what is probably all, both of those that's probably the most controversial. >> ellen, just address, frac s, directly and adamantly opposed to any restrictions, and certainly sugary beverages. i just have a a question. are there any circumstances, a lot of the proposals are tied with incentives. are there any circumstances in which you could imagine frac supporting a well-designed, very well constructed pilot, everything starts as a pilot, like the food stamp program start as a pilot, everything starts as a pilot is there any conceivable way that you and
others of frac can see a really well-designed one that tries to answer the question about stigma, about other purchases, about what will they then the purchasing if not sodas? can you envision that possibly mixed with an incentive? >> so let me just say a few things. you were getting along so well. [laughing] we knew it had to end. >> no, this does not come as a shock. so as i mentioned earlier, frac and antihunger community position is if you want to go to put the n back in s.n.a.p., boost allotments. that is not addressed in the report. i agree with the institute of medicine that that's what we should be doing to allow heads of households to go into supermarkets and by nutritionally adequate diet for their family.
and also reaching out to those underserved communities like the seniors to get them in. you mention stigma. we are very sensitive to stigma as a mentioned earlier. we were concerned about increased stigma with the introduction of the ebt card. we hear from wic recipients a lot and there's a lot of folks who want to make s.n.a.p. more like wic. and they are talking about the confusion and complexity about what's in and what's not in at the store level, and then there's the complexity at the usda level, which i am not an expert on. but there are people from the food industry who have looked at this and sent said especially e smaller stores, it gets very complicated to administer any kind of selective disqualification of certain beverages.
and how do you determine which foods, i mean, right hip in my grocery store where i shop there's an entire aisle of water on both sides of the aisle. and some of it has sweetened water, some of them have i guess different flavors in it. i mean, you have to go through and identify what is and is not an allowable item. but i will tell you i'm not an economist. i am a legislative person. i am a lobbyist. and my biggest fear right now is in the current political environment. there are people who are advocating for changes that are not coming from the same place where bill and the bipartisan policy center are coming from. their goal quite honestly is to shrink this program, to starve the beast, to just cut people off of the program.
and our fear is by poking holes at the program through -- i guess by restricting choice, it's a way to say, well, approximately x percent of the s.n.a.p. caseload arbeit x percent of s.n.a.p. purchases, you know, is this item. so we're going to disqualify this item and then we will cut the allotment by this percent and it's a win-win. we are shrinking s.n.a.p. and we're getting rid of, you know, bad food. so i just worry in an environment where so many people are, their number one goal is to shrink the program, that is an issue. and then finally i've been at it long enough to have heard just about every different kind of restriction that people want to
throw out there. i've heard stake in luxury meets should be disallowed. crap, and yes, that lobster dude on the california beach, travel lobster ship any shellfish should not be allowed. any animal-based product including dairy, meat, poultry or secret should not be allowed. energy drinks, soft drink, i skim, candy, cookies, chips, imported foods, you as a only food people are advocating, decorated cakes, like birthday cakes should not be allowed. any kind of luxury rosen foods. and then on the other side people who are lobbying to get items like vitamins into the wic and the s.n.a.p. programs, because currently you're not allowed to buy vitamins with your wic are s.n.a.p. benefits. so again, opening the door and
just not knowing where this can all go is problematic. i do agree with the other provisions in the report. i think s.n.a.p. education is really important. the other thinks bill mentioned coupled with incentive programs, i think where to look at a lot of different ways but i'm just very nervous in this environment about doing anything that could potentially come back to bite us. >> that's helpful, so we'll come back to you and see if we can design a really good pilot. i'm kidding, i'm kidding. i think there was to be a lot of debate about the topic and i know bill, you wanted to follow-up. >> maybe we can work out a deal here. tracy, , listen, i worked for republicans on my career. we're not interested in big brother coming in and defining lobster or crap. this particular item though is
research after research after research has indicated that negative health care affects of sugar sweetened beverages. so here's the deal. frac is so important, and tracy has given me the idea, maine governor has asked for a waiver to exclude the purchase. let's pilot test this and see what happens in maine. >> maine has a whole host of issues, but that's -- [laughing] no. but, but -- but it do think you raise a good point and i think ellen the main point you said about this were complexity in terms of the actual transaction and how stores no, et cetera. slippery slope, who knows where it will go beyond sugary beverages, stigma, that's an issue. i do know one of the other recommendations from the bpc report as another congressional hunger report that came out a number of s.n.a.p. was first and foremost there needs to be a definition of sugary beverages. i was at a meeting where they
were like five different entities talking about some sugary beverage issues and they all had five different definitions for it. you're absolutely right, that needs to be first and foremost understandably, but once that is in place perhaps there is to your point a well-designed study that doesn't even hand, that's my biggest concern as well come to go. 5% purchases are made for xyz. let's cut 5%, win-win. no, we will lose and economic research service did come out recently to show that s.n.a.p. participants, same amount of money for non-step at eligible participant will spend or non-eligible people come so higher income people, spend, may spin the same amount of money but s.n.a.p. participants are going to buy more calories because they don't have enough money to purchase healthier items, fruits, vegetables, et cetera so there is that economic
issues at the institute of medicine product is also important, , given more money to spend on healthier items. with that of actual guard opened up because of a few minutes for discussion. i'm hoping that you all are feverishly writing down all your probably took a look at the magazine cover and decided i'm really hungry now, thanks a lot, bill, for showing me the hamburger and pizza on the cover. any questions? any burning issues? i just wondered where diet beverages, can't speak to what you are saying about the different types of water, but where did diet beverages which are, there's a lot of them, they have no sugar, no added sugar. they have sugar substitutes. where do they fit in that picture? >> i understand that the issues associated with diet beverages
also. i'm just taking it a step at a time, that's all i'm doing. [inaudible] >> they would not be excluded i guess. >> okay. i think that's a good definitio definition. >> this may be an impossible question, but are the elements of the farm bill programs, other than the s.n.a.p. program, that have significant impact on the food assistance program and that could be reform to make food assistance program better? so leaving aside changes to the program itself, you got whole rest of the farm bill. how about changes in there? >> i'm going in one of the questions i was going to have for my colleague here, oran, was what you describe to me was positive as it relates to the agriculture sector. what i want to suggest, you will have a farm panel tomorrow, on
bill panel tomorrow. what i want to suggest is most of the price support mechanisms in this country are not for fruit, vegetables. so it's for the, the reason farm income is that is on those hard commodities, corn, wheat, soybeans, down the line. so if you could change the way, if we could, if we're going to support fruits and vegetables to our price support mechanism, that is a trade up to the hard commodities, another battle, i think that will be one way to strengthen the farm programs helping nutrition. >> the former staff and our staffers in audience are smiling right now. i see you guys. >> the specialty crops, provisions in the farm bill that support different aspects of production of fruits, vegetables, nuts and so forth definitely have, they definitely relate to at least the work that i'm talking about. one other i can think about,
there are a number of programs local food promotion programs, farmers market food program said as we strengthen those to strengthen the ability of these kinds of outlets to be able to provide transact or processing for s.n.a.p., ebt and double up customers and do it at a price point that is not prohibited to small farmers, that could be a huge benefit to the field and the farm bill deals will lapse. i think are several places in the farm bill that leads from our perspective in the incident world, if they were supported as they have been an even more broadly supported could really help. >> i'm also thinking now that i'm living in a rural small-town, real broadband, that's huge. a lot of times you can't s.n.a.p. vendors at the farmers market or vendors can't accept s.n.a.p. easily and that's a real challenge. those are sort of, there's
probably half a dozen if not more of the places in the farm bill which is a really good point that could be tweaked, strengthen, et cetera that we continue to optimize the s.n.a.p. program. >> my name is doron and ellen mention the economic benefits of s.n.a.p. which a thing sometimes are underestimated. i also think you touched on this, a very lean program, very low administrative costs both to the federal government and shared with the states, which are very concerned about keeping balanced budgets. i wondered when the bipartisan policy celtic he met with the report on the recommendations on step if you considered either the economic effects of changing the program, and that also the affects that it would have on the administered cost to the program? >> administrative costs would go
up. >> exactly can with administrative costs go up if you added these additional requirements in s.n.a.p.? and also would you lose any economic benefits? >> the best answer i can give is i do not know but my perception is it probably would be some increased cost. one small, maybe a sidebar here. when i was the administrator back in 1980 i tried to get the ebt card. we were still needed with the actual script. the problem back to show you things have evolved, the problem was the chip would not fit within the thickness of the card. it's hard to believe this but it's taken us that long to get that chip so it's so thin that it will fit. a lot of evolution. but to your point, i believe in innovation. i believe in the streamlining. i believe it would be ways in which initially there always is some start up cost but i think over time you can make this
thing so it doesn't add to the administrative costs of the program. >> any other questions? thomas, you are getting your steps in today. >> thank you all for your presentation. i have a question about two of the commerce made both about incentive programs and about the idea that the best way to increased attrition is to increase the s.n.a.p. allotment. in the upcoming farm bill how do we avoid the implicit trade-off that any dollar that goes to incentive programs is not a additive s.n.a.p. allotments? under the premise so i work for a public health nonprofit in rhode island, we would love to see both a aisling s.n.a.p. allotments increased an incentive program funding increased. how do we avoid those being intentioned? >> that's a a great question. >> it's a great question.
i don't have the answer to the how, but certainly it does not make sense for funding the food program to come at the cost of step. makes no sense at all. you can't have a strong incentive program without having a strong s.n.a.p. program. we need both of them strong alongside each other. i get asked this question a lot, and my answer is usually, you know, it's my job, i don't live in d.c. i don't work in d.c. i work in michigan, the heartland of this country work with farmers and families. it's our job to create the program and create the evidence to show what works. i want to leave the job to get how to pay for it for those who we are electing and paying are doing that work. so it is up to our members of congress and senate to figure out how to put budgets behind things that work well. my belief is that both s.n.a.p. and -- are programs that work
well. [inaudible] >> just reading the tea leaves a little bit about farm bill, i would not be shocked if we can't see our way through to a farm bill i september 30 of this year. that being said, there are 39 programs right now and the farm bill that did not have a baseline. and they will expire if congress does not provide fun and i believe finni is one of those. the cost is, one of them is organic and there's just a bunch of different programs. so i think to flip your question over, i think what we need to do is to make sure that the chairman of the house and senate ad committees have something in
place that if we're going to get an extension or a a cr on the m bill, how do we protect programs like fini so they continue during this time where we roll over the farm bill for a year or two? and, you know, we want to be there and be supportive because i totally agree on the step side, , we want to be supportive of programs like fini because we understand how valuable they are to our clients. >> bill, you've been on the other side of those discussions, not just this site. any recommendations on how to thread that new? >> it's a good thing you're not in washington -- because ellen has got -- [inaudible] >> great question. its the budget issue. if i had my way, if i had my way, unfortunately, the medicaid, medicare and health care programs are not in the
jurisdiction of that agriculture community. and i think i can make the case that better nutrition reduces the cost of the medicaid program, therefore, increasing expenditures you to protect these programs would be scored against the medicaid program, and i would have offsets so i i wouldn't be adding to the deficit. because the way we are structured, we have these committees that don't have, that are not coordinated in terms of her budget. that's a bigger budget. that runs throughout the federal government, it's not just these. >> i think the recommendation the bpc reported that medicaid and step, like sharing data, do it a lot more cross-fertilization is enormous and it seems like it should play well on the hill in reducing healthcare costs, but there's a huge silo issue. is that a question back there? >> i was just questioning has to
is being communicated to the community, particularly school communities that have a lot of students on free and reduced meals, and how are they propose changes being communicated? >> you are a mind reader. i just wrote down a note to myself after the last comment about talking about programs that are within the ag committees jurisdiction and how they now sort of affect one another. and that is whenever you see proposals in congress that would reduce s.n.a.p., and we're always. [talking over each other] about the only way you can reduce s.n.a.p. is by either cutting benefits or cutting people off the program. because the administrative costs are such a small percentage of the operating budget of s.n.a.p. so if you proposed cutting
s.n.a.p. and people say, well, you know, we're going to cut $6 billion from s.n.a.p. and that means approximately this many people will lose their s.n.a.p. benefits, 100% of the children in those s.n.a.p. households, not 100%, but they will lose their eligibility for free school meals. they would then, some of them would have to go through the paper applications, and bill mentioned streamlining. one of the greatest things we did was allow the staff officers to share information with schools to say these are the children who have gone to the rigors of a s.n.a.p. application or a tanf application. they are not categorically eligible for free school meals. check their names off, and you don't have to verify that information. it's been an incredible blessing for school food service providers. so again, whenever we sort of
churn out numbers in terms of how many people will lose their eligibility because they're going to get rid of broad-based categorical eligibility or, you know, create new work requirements for s.n.a.p. recipients with children under a certain age or whatever, over a certain age, it affects those children's access to school meals. so those are the kinds of interactions that we really worry about. >> well, i think we are, thomas -- >> we've got five minutes. i'll ask the final question if no one -- oran, could you talk about the lines that are drawn on what -- [inaudible] >> i think the lines that are drawn on what can and can be purchased? just a little one on one
incentive backgrounder. >> say it again. >> can you talk about why can't and can't be purchased as part of the incentive programs? is a just fruits and vegetables, is it just fresh? >> so i can tell you what, you have used the eight interpreted that fini program at them over to in michigan because it's two different things. the fini program has been interpreted to you either have to earn incentives on any s.n.a.p. eligible item, and then spend incentives on fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables with no added sugar, fat or salt. or on the other hand, you can earn your incentives, purchasing, using s.n.a.p. to purchase fruits and vegetables, as i just mentioned, and then spend those incentive dollars on any s.n.a.p. eligible item. or you can earn your s.n.a.p. incentives on fruits and vegetables and spend them on
fruits and vegetables. there are several ways the programs run the country are doing it. we tried to make it easy in michigan and with double up walks around the country. earn your incentives by buying fresh fruits and vegetables, spend your incentives on more fresh fruits and vegetables. what i love about, we can get into all cut the conversation about sugared water and diet soda and all but nobody ever argues with the fact fresh fruits and vegetables are the number one item when you did meet of four nutrition and health. so that's what we're doing it were saying let's go to what's easy and for what we know, doubling our is fresh fruits and vegetables are going to work. >> cans with no sugar, salt or fat, right. >> that's a great way to indicate i hope you all go and have a salad tonight. [laughing] i do what you think the
panelists pick really appreciate their comments in the engagement, so you, all three of you. [applause] >> and have a good evening. >> you read my mind. >> great, thank you all. this concludes our day-to-day -- you know, please come bright and early tomorrow morning. we've got some insight what we have in store, people tell us they will be giving some more details on plans for new activities in the nutrition space so i think that would be, it's exciting. we're expecting some new direction to be announced tomorrow. that will be at 8:30 a.m. registration starts at 7:30 a.m. thank you all for being here. [inaudible conversations] ..
time with a look at the environment. beginning at eight eastern, charles man and his book the wizard and the profit. rupert darr wall offers his opinions on climate change. his book is called green tourney. journalist catherine miles on the natural and main ma man-made causes. we close with jeff caddell on the rise of sealevel. his book is the water will come. book tv in prime time on c-span2. >> for nearly 20 years, but to be featured the best known authors. this year is a special project. join us live at noon with walter mosley. his most recent book is down the river and onto the sea. his other book includes devil in a blue dress, gone fishing and phyllis jones. plus, over 40 critically acclaimed books and mystery
series. during the program we will take your phone calls, tweets and facebook messages. our special series of in-depth fiction addition with walter mosley sunday, live from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span2. now, conversation from the brookings institution on turkey's relationship with the u.s. and europe. we will hear about authoritarian tendencies in turkey, anti-western sentiment and military alliances with the west. >> a morning everyone. let's get started. thank you so much for coming to this event on turkey. we are seeing a lot of familiar faces in the audience which is wonderful. i was going to say, it's an incredibly timely day to talk about turkey and