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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 31, 2014 4:30am-6:31am EDT

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idea that the tobacco industry for so long was in such denial about the very clear and obvious dangers of tobacco smoke. the same thing happened with mercury. this went on for many, many decades. and there was a lot of resistance and a lot of internal effort to try and do that. i can just tell you in terms of the fda, i don't know the particular studies here, but i dealt with the fda when it comes to pharmaceuticals. and this is a very, very conservative safety sensitive organization. so much more. it's incredibly frustrating to deal with them. the reason for it is kind of obvious. here are a bunch of bureaucrats. and if they speed something to market, they maybe get a little pat on the back. it's not a really huge career advancing step for them. but if they allow something that turns out and we've seen it with the recall in the pharmaceutical
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industry which is common that, is career ending. it's going to be examined in a very detailed way. so the usual attack or feeling about our technology is actually the fda is extraordinarily conservative and resistant to allowing these sorts of things through. and, in fact, if i looked at the pressure that the pharmaceutical industry could bring to bear on the fda and sort of the heft of big pharma is far bigger than biotech like monsanto. it really surprises me that you think the fda is captured in the sense that it, you know, will allow junk science as you claim it to be to be the basis for regulatory approvals. and most of the people, those kinds of scientists that i referred to that, you know, they look at that stuff and they would have no problem at all saying it's totally garbage because not everybody is captured by the monsantos in the
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world. >> let me get a question in the center here. get the boom over here. >> you brought references to high blood pressure and autism. i can draw the same curves correlating with the use of i-70 on weekends or my ski days over the last five years. the experimental -- the scientific method uses controlled experiments frequently experiments, not just
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anecdotal accounts of somebody saying i stopped using gmo foods and i got better. what if that -- what if you gave that person a placebo and said these are gmo foods? would they feel sick? i would just like your comment. i know you made a presentation on dr. oz's show. there was a very interesting article in the "new yorker" magazine a year ago. which is called is the most trusted doctor in america doing more harm than good? and i'll just quote two sentences from it if you don't mind. the study that you referred to here and on the dr. oz show was publicized widely throughout the world. it was denounced by the food safety authority. rejected in a rare joint statement by the six french national scientific academies and ridiculed by scores of scientists. agricultural technology is under review by the fda for decades and no agency in the united states or anywhere else has
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found evidence that general et beingly modified foods are metabolized by the body any differently than any other type of food. that's in february 2013 new yorker if anybody is interested in pursuing it. >> thank you. >> was everybody able to hear the question? >> yes. >> all right. so i actually spent a lot of time analyzing published studies and translating the science for english. my book genetic roulette does that. but it also says in the beginning if this were fluoride studies, cancer studies, a number of other things, we would have thousands and thousands of published studies to deal with. but we actually have only a handful. it's not true that there are 600 safety studies. is it a few years ago the number of safety studies, animal studies that would qualify as an academic safety study was less than three dozen. and so in the book which has
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1153 notes and lots of published studies and linked to, it also says that we're not -- we don't have the luxury of just limiting ourselves to the studies. we have to be like epidemiologist that's look at the studies. the unpublished studies which is what the biotech people use to submit to the fda and also look at theoretical risks based on the biochemistry of roundup and the physiological actions of bt. so i could have bored with you the details of numerous peer view published studies and in different audience i'll do that. i go into a lot more detail. what i decided to do here was look at the epidemiological approach where we have the published studies. all i did here is hand it over to another medical organization's review where they said gastrointestinal problems, et cetera. that's all i did to handle that. what i decided to do is to show
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patterns. i was very clear, i think whether i showed the causal charts. this is not causation. but if you're looking at it like an epidemiologist and see a change, you're going to ask what's the cause? and i have provided information that many scientists and doctors believe are the cause that's can help support why those grasses were so closely aligned. there are hundreds of doctors that just literally just published, signed a petition that said it should have never been retracted. it's sound science. it's very important. and i can go into that for ever. if you want the details go, to he handles every objection with science. >> it's interesting that in the peer reviewed stud yidz, it's clear to me that you since the effects are so dramatic and the poisonings are so brad brood, it
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wouldn't actually take very much to do a human study where you took a small population, suitbly controlled, take them off gmos, show the dramatic effects. i guarantee it would be published in the journal of american medical association. any publication would love to have that. it wouldn't take very long according to these results. so why doesn't the anti-gmo industry and it's not -- it is kind of an industry, simply funneled and do those sorts of studies and it certainly well within their capabilities. >> you are asking me to respond? >> yes. >> first of all, i'd like you to volunteer to be part of the experiment. it would pass through an institutional review board. typically before you get into human trials, you go into long
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term animal feeding studies. and other side does not use long term animal feeding studies. the studies last 14 days, 28 days or at the most 90 days which make it impossible to have chronic problems, intergenerational problems in cancer. so before you get into the human studies, it's like, as you know from getting your products into the fda, there is a four phased deal. it starts with animal and then human. they're not done yet. there is not funding et cetera available for the long term animal feeding studies f there is a difference, if there are signs of toxicity in the rats that ate the corn, let's do more dynamic studies to find the causation, et cetera, et cetera. >> so that you're referring to is whether you try to task and use a candidate drug to prove it is safe in humans n fact, gmo materials, the consumes broadly by the population as we all know. you could go directly into that
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trial because of all your talking about is taking a population. i will be happy to volunteer. >> you heard it here. >> everybody is doing that. anybody is eating processed foods is eating gmo. you were saying that virtually 100% of people improve. so all you have to do is set up a controlled group, change them in a small way, don't just remove the gmos, you don't have to, you know, get them exercising and change their diet completely and do all sorts of things that have other effects. just select them and remove the gmos. not that hard to do. and see what the results are. and track them very scrupulously. externally and it would be very easy and you don't have a problem if doing that sort of experiment. it could be done tomorrow. >> so on my facebook page you find a doctor that just took 20 seriously ill people off gmos and was astounded at the improvements and now he's doing that with 300. a slightly different model. but doctors are doing those experiments on people all the time.
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it's a different model. it's before and after. but that is already happening. that is probably what i share now. >> i want to take another question over here. this lady here. >> i want to preface my question with the fact that my family and myself eat nearly 100% organically produced food. and my question is, could both of you comment on whether it's economically feasible to continue to feed our planet where the population continues to grow without using gmos? >> was everybody able to hear the question? >> so there is -- the most comprehensive study in the world for feeding the hungry plan set called the iistad report. it is sponsored by the u.n. and many different organizations, signed on by 58 countries. in its conclusion, written by more than 400 scientists over
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several years, was that the current generation of gmos has nothing to offer, nothing to offer fulfilling their goals of feeding poverty or creating sustainable agriculture. according to the union of concerned scientists in the report failure to yield, they don't even increase yield. and many people realize the sexy new technology of gmos is taking money away for more appropriate technologies which have been shown to feed the world. in addition, we should be clear that it's not necessarily just in creasing yield that the experts say will feed the world. we have more food per person than in human history and yet a billion people go to bed hungry or malnourished every night. it's access to food. it's poverty issues which are more fundamental. but if you look at the nutrition per acre, then sustainable and organic methods increase over gmo. in developing countries, the disparity is even greater.
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there was a study done on 12 million farms and found they increased yields by 79%. >> my understanding is that that's not true. and, in fact, the thing i'm absolutely certain of, if you were to eliminate all gmo crops, you would end up with very, very substantial increase in pesticide use. to levels that is something that is not desired by most people. certainly i would not like to see. that i'm more concerned about pesticides. and as far as yields and productivities, my understanding, is that they're substantially higher. especially when you're looking at issues like removal of crops because of various infectious agents and such like that. and, you know this is a process. the whole green revolution had increased productivity in an enormous way. it leveled off. i think there will be problems.
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and that we need to increase acreage in very significant ways. i have seen commentary from people that suggest it would be very, very substantial and increases in acreage would eventually be required. i'm not sure. >> in the interest of time and not imposing on our speakers, i'd like to take three more questions. this gentlemen ja had his hand up for quite some time. >> in 1955, the fda said it is good for you. thank you, fda conservative, we believe you. that's a question and that's a preface to my statement. so let's just cut down. explain to me what is wrong with and this is very basic. so we have weeds.
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we have pests. and our yield is not high. and i appreciate the drought resistant crops and things. so we want to increase our yield. and we spray poison toxins, roundup on our crops and our cotton to kill the weeds and the pesticides. am i kind of -- is this correct? >> it's the weeds, yeah. >> then we directly digest the corn or the cows and the animals, the pigs digest the products that have been sprayed with the super pesticides. so is that going into us or is it not? and that's my question. we're digesting the residues of
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the roundup. we are consuming roundup. your kids are consuming roundup s this not true? >> it's true. >> there are all sorts of pesticides that are being used including roundup. one of the problems with them increasing is the fact that there are cultures going on. large amount of the same crop that are planted without a scattering of other crops so that when you get pests that arrive, there is a huge feeding ground. so there are lots of ways in which modern agriculture has become very, very reliant just not on pesticides, but on fertilizers, you know, huge amounts of fertilizers on water usage that is unsustainable. there are a lot of problems with this operation today. i think that use of gmo crops is actually par of the solution to that. because you can deal with a number of the pef pest issues
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and other issues associated with modern agriculture. i don't think that jeff would deny that if you were to roll back from modern agriculture, huge fields, mechanic anized production he would have amazing food issues. because it's not an desceaccide that we've gone from 06% of the population engaged in farm work to 1% to 2% of the population globally which is why we don't have global hunger and such. it's a big operation. >> so just to respond to this. because of the herbicide to tolerant crops, the weeds are resistant to it, farmers use more herbicide. because the herbicide tolerant crops, the u.s. uses 537 million more pounds herbicide because of the gmos. now the insecticide producing crops reduce the number -- the amount of spraying on the crop by about 1 auto million pounds over the first 16 years.
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but the amount of pesticides produced in the crop itself is at least double per acre. that which is displaced in a spray form. we eat that pesticide when we eat the corn. so, yes, we consume both the herbicides sprayed on and the pesticide produced by the corn colonel and the amount of pesticide produced is actually not gone down if you include that as well. >> i want to take one question over here and then i'll go way back in the corner here, charlie, so you know where i'm going. the demographic here is fairly akin to mine. we have about an 11 or 12-year-old back here. i want to give last word to her. let's go over here. i'm going to encourage everybody to ask question. >> i'd like to have a little detail. i'm hearing a lot of differences. i need to know more on the differences because there are so much going on and so much active things going on, getting gmo products labels, et cetera,
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non-gmo. then you have the whole organic community. my question is there has to be a huge difference between me going and buying something that is labelled nongmo versus me going to the store and buying something that is organic. and then you mentioned something about the popcorn not being -- not being non-gmo. yet you go to the store and you see the non-gmo label. the other gentleman said that can't be right now. i'd like some clarification on the differences between labelling of nongmo versus organic and the comment about the corn. >> all right. if something is labelled 100% organic, that is 1 h00 hundred% organic. it has to be 59% organic. the other a% has to be nongmo.
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if something is labelled made with on beganic ingredient. it has to be 07% organic. the other 30% has to be nongmo. now there is no required testing in organics. so smimd there is contamination in the seed, by other fields, and it's possible to buy without even knowing that it is contamina contaminated. nongmo project has testing requirement it's there are at risk ingredients. and they have a .9% threshold for food. so sometimes you'll see organic and nongmo product verified on the same package which is kind of gold standard. organic has a lot of other attributes that non-gmo doesn't. many other things, many other benefits. now you the other thing is this. roundup is now being sprayed as a ripening agent on wheat and barley and rye and potatoes and 100 different types of fruits
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and vegetables and grains. so it's also being absorbed into the crop. so if you want to avoid roundup in most of the forms, then buying or began sick best. if you see organic and nongm variousfied, it's a gold standard. that means it's been tested for ton cam nation levels. >> organic is around a lot longer than gmo. it thooz do with using nonnatural pesticides, for example, bt is natural. and it's ar faz understanding this, i think it's virtually impossible for you to do. i mean you get on site, really, you get on the site and you read one thing and you say that sounds interesting. that's believable. then you read the other information and you go well i don't know. that makes sense. well that makes sense much it's really very, very difficult. i think that there is a whole pattern here of confusion. and so it becomes very simple. gmos really awful. or can you see it in industry after industry.
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there was a look called the product is confusion or something like that. it was about how you create complete uncertainty about these things. so people just don't know what to believe. it's very, very, very difficult. and i think that's, you know, that's just the way it is with not just gmos but any number of these sorts of things. that when you start to get into the technical arguments, it's almost impossible. one of the aspects of that is really kind of looking at people's credentials and consistency and using common sense about what people's motivations might be and all those sorts of things. >> i apologize for those that have hands up. we're in a time limitation. if you have questions, perhaps the gentlemen would indulge you after the program. speak up in a really big voice. >> this is hard for me too, because i have adhd as well. i just have one question. is gmo good or bad? >> the question is gets to the
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essence of the question. are gmos good or bad? >> that cuts to the simplest of thing ands you might think that that's a planted question because that's my daughter back there. she's a 10-year-old. and i think that there is not a problem with gmos. they're not -- they're neither good nor bad. it is a process. and as i was saying before, you can use genetically -- genetic modification of organisms to create things that are horrendous. and can you do it to create things that are quite beneficial. i think we need to think about that. that's an issue with the labelling. because, from a chg ankly, i wag makes a lot of sense, why not label these things? but whether you start thinking about it of as a process and there's a lot about food that i would like to know. i would like to know whether
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food uses pesticides and what kinds of food. i would like to know whether that food has been grown where people are paid a living wage. what country it comes from. what is you're asking for is the inventory, the entire food system and keep track of all the processes and involved and in producing something that we eat. which to me you can say well let's label. that but then it's really hard once you start getting into processes to deny someone who wants something else incorporated on the label. and the reason the fda doesn't support that or the academy of science is because food labelling is supposed to be about health and safety. and they feel, you can say they've been captured by the industry, but they feel that there is not a health or safety issue associated with the process. that's what testing is about.
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>> excellent question. >> i think that she's good. i think that some day we may be able to manipulate genes individually and know what's going to happen. originally they thought one gene would produce one proteen and that's all and that's exactly how it works and it's easy. that turned out not to be the case. they realized that genes are networks and families and extremely complicated and getting more complex the more they look at it. so when they genetically engineer, they mess up the dna pretty substantially right now with current technology. and they don't even know how to test to see if they've done something wrong to human health because they don't know all the different laws of nature and means that it's talking to. so i would say this. it is certainly possible that this process will become reliably safe. right now, i am extremely
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confident that the process itself is too fraught with side effects. it's rushed to the market long before the science is ready. it may be a very significant health problem that we're facing. and i didn't even talk about the environmental impact. i want to add this. almost everything that was said by you tonight is mentioned in a book online called gmo myths and truths. it's very easy to read. it looks at all of the talking points from monsanto and the pr companies. every one of them. it shows what the truth is. and it shows the difference in the, you know, i would recommend going online, gmo myths and truths. and reading it. you'll see, you'll recognize manufacture the statements that were made tonight and then you'll see the scientific clarification. because i think it will show that, you know, there's a lot of wishful thinking about gmos. there are a lot of promise that's have been made. feed the world, et cetera,
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reduce chemicals. they haven't actually turned out to be true. >> just a clarification. this idea talking points. one of the reasons why some of these things may occur as arguments again and again is that they're actually right. okay? there are many people that are saying these things. they're not using them as talking points. and this is a possibility to consider the same arguments are made generally with other groups there. they're well trodden paths. the second thing is i really think it's a little disingeneralous to say you have nothing against genetically modified organism it's they were tested enough. i heard the same thing with environmentalism and stuff. actually, not you personally necessarily, but everything is being done to prevent the kinds of testing that you would require in order to certify that something is safe. it is absolutely impossible to prove that something is safe.
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you can show that you can't see any damage from it given the kinds of test that's are done. you cannot make that proof. in fact, whether field trials are ripped out by activists, when it's made very, very expensive and difficult to do testing and to experiment with these things, it's -- it sounds good to say we love it. but it's not quite ready. when actually you know -- >> i didn't say i love it. you heard it. >> we accept it. but it's not quite ready. that is an endless path that it will never get there. and so it's a very high ground to take. but the reality is that world is racing forward and we can't stop. all sorts of things are being introduced that very normous implications for us. we do the best we k wisdom and knowledge is purchased at some cost. >> first of all, i want to thank everybody for being here and for being so involved. i didn't see anybody nodding
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off, any winking out. so you were very good audience. especially i want to thank the speakers for expertise and their passion. i think its on
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twitter at c-span and liking us on facebook at >> according to the centers for disease control, childhood obesity more than doubled in children and quadrupled in add less nens the past 30 years. the senate agriculture nutrition and forestry committee held a hearing looking at school meal programs across the u.s. and they examined ways to strengthen the programs to serve healthier food items to schoolchildr schoolchildren. we heard testimony from school nutrition experts including the president-elect of the school nutrition association. to discuss the purchasing, procurement and preparation of school meals. this is just over two hours. >> well good morning. we are very excited about this hearing. and welcome to each of you for
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coming. i do have to begin by saying we were saying back in the room i think we want to do a hearing on school nutrition every week because we've been given a lot of great food this morning. we're going to make this a weekly effort. so i know that senator leahy intends to come. he brought in some pumpkin squares that we have from the school menu in vermont. and i've tasted one. it's absolutely delicious. and from bob casey, we have mushroom and meat bars. these are also great. 50% mushroom, auto% meat. i feel like i'm on the food channel right now. but these are also excellent. we thank senator casey who will be joining us. and we also have, and i think
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salt lake city is going to talk to us about what a half cup looks like, right? so you brought that for us. we have apple slices. so we're leer for the duration. we can last a while this morning. and not to offend my wonderful cafeteria folks when i was growing up, but we didn't eat like this when i was in school. so this is very delicious food this morning. so we are very appreciative of everyone being here for our second hearing on child nutrition and to be able to talk to those in the trenches working hard to make things happen in the right way for our children. let me just start by saying what we all know that, according to the center for disease control, obesity in young children has more than doubled in the last 30 years. that's why this discussion is so important. and it's grown more than four time higher for teenagers in the same time frame.
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so that's why we are involved. that's why we care. that's why there is a priority. and it means today more than 1 out of 3 children is either overweight or obese. and as a country, we spend one out of every five health care dollars treating obesity related illnesses every year. and our first hearing on this issue, we heard jarring testimony from a military general, 7 a% of our youth cannot qualify for military service. 75%. so if we can turn a corner in this country by offering health qui food choices in schools and by teaching healthy eating habls, we'll not only improve the health of our children, but our country's long term economic and national security as well. today we'll examine the way school food service directors, farmers, school administrators, professionals, parents, community leaders are meeting the needs of our children every day by working together to serve
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healthy meals. you know, we all heard the jokes about school meals and certainly growing up the burnt fish sticks and mystery meat tacos and cafeteria's full of deep fryers. i know from visiting schools that those are gone in detroit. and those days i know are over. i had the opportunity to visit many schools all across michigan. and i've been very impressed to see elementary schools enjoying broccoli and pineapple from salad bars and students learning about where their food comes from through form arm to school garden effortses that are really exciting. the really good news is this isn't just happening in michigan but schools all across the country. we're seeing schools installing salad bars and serving turkey hamburgers and vegetables and whole grains. schools are encouraging children to eat healthier by showing them that healthy can taste good,
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too. in some cases, the students are not only enjoying the food at school, they're beginning to ask for it at home. and i've talked to local grossers who on different days have said they ran out of different vegetables or fruits and couldn't figure out what was going on and discovered that was the day it was being going on and figured out that was the day it was served at cool a school and the kids were going home and asking for it at night. we can only make important changes if our friends and partners in the food industry, non-profit organizations, agriculture, state and federal agencies, cafeterias, classrooms, all work together. today we'll hear how psychologies are providing these fundamental foundational meals every day, like ingredients in many of the meals schools serve, the work each of our witnesses
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does represents a key ingredient. as we know, this is not an easy task. but the goal of reducing childhood hunger and obesity is too important to reverse course now. instead, we're looking forward at how we can work together. today we'll examine some of the challenges schools face in providing access to healthy foods and most importantly what solutions are there to address many of these concerns. so thank you again. i want to turn now to my distinguished ranking member and friend senator cochran for his opening row maremarks. >> thank you very much, madam chairman. we appreciate all those in attendance today and are pleased that we have two witnesses on our panel from mississippi to discuss the programs, school
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eating programs and other programs that are related to our interest in federal support for good programs that increase efficiency and provide benefits for nutrition and physical soundness that we need in our country. i think we can continue to improve on the federal role and this hearing also has that purpose. comment and suggestions from our witnesses about ways to improve these programs are welcomed and encouraged. we think there should be local flexibility to accommodate common sense concerns from the administrators at the local level and any suggestions for changes in the federal legislation, underlying
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legislation supporting these programs is welcome and we appreciate your participation with us in this endeavor. thank you. >> thank you very much. and i now senator cochran, you have, as you indicated, two distinguished representatives from mississippi here. so we're going to introduce our members. and certainly, if you want to, at the appropriate point, to introduce your members, your guests, we certainly want you to do that. and, of course, as always, our members welcome to put opening statements into the record, but we'll proceed now with the testimony. very pleased to interdoes our first witness on this panel, ms. betti wiggins the director of the schools who provides meals to 55,000 students every day. they have school gardens.
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i haven't seen all of them, but i've seen a number of them, they're throughout the city, supported by the farl to school program and improved the local community by serving minimally processed foods whenever possible. she was the chief of food service administration for the public schools in washington, d.c. served as the recess chair of the food association, a national trade group for local businesses that worked to increase access and market share for seller and commercial buyers of local food. and now i'll turn to senator cochran to introduce our next witness, mr. scott clements. >> madam chairman, it's my pleasure to present mr. scott clements. from the mississippi department of education in mississippi. in his role, he administers
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eight programs, including breakfast and child and adult food care programs. in addition, his office conducts several school-related health programs. he has 14 years of experience in child nutrition. he's the past president of the mississippi school nutrition association and has served on the usda child nutrition state systems working group. do i also introduce dr. wilson? >> you're welcome to. >> dr. kathryn wilson is the executive director of the national food management service institute in oxford. she serves as associate director -- sorry, she serves as associate professor at the university as well. she holds degrees in dietetics
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and related fields. she has 23 years of experience as a school nutrition director and has served as the president of the school nutrition association. i'm pleased both of them could be here today to help us review the proposals for legislation on nutrition programs that are administered by the federal government. >> thank you very much. next we're pleased to have ms. jul julia bauscher. she's also the director of school and community nutrition programs at jefferson county, public schools in kentucky where meals to 100,000 students are served in 144 schools. prior to joining the school district, ms. bauscher was representative for three different manufacturers.
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since joining the district in 1994, she has overseen the development of essential kitchen and has leveraged the community by enlisting the help of a local professional chef to develop recipes. finally, we are pleased to have mr. phil muir of muir copper canyon farm. his family business began in 1850. you don't look that old, actually. muir copper canyon farm is based in salt lake city, utah, serving the entire state of utah and parts of idaho and wyoming. his clients include k-12 schools, casual and fine-dining restaurants. he serves on the health council of the united fresh foundation. and served with pro-act.
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so welcome to all of you. and let me remind you that we do ask you to limit your comments to five minutes. we welcome any other written testimony and information that you'd like to give us. but in the interest of time -- and we actually have a vote at 11:00 today. so we feneed to make sure that have ample time for questions. we'll start with ms. wiggins. >> honorable members of the committee. i'm betti wiggins. i am honored to be with you here today to address what i believe to be a top being of fundamental importance to all of us, the health and well-being of america's children. as we all know, the cafeteria lines, there are no d.s and r.s, they are only young americans we are grateful to serve. i am thankful for the
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deliberative tone of this committee. in a district with declining enrollment and multiple facility closures in recent years, i have the privilege to provide meals to 50,000 children. most of our children eat breakfast and lunch and often eat supper with our facilities. it makes a positive difference in their lives, their family lives and the community. it was the first to make breakfast universally available. there's a direct correlation between eating breakfast and academic performance. our lunch program provides free, fresh, hot cooked meals. it includes fresh vegetables and fruits. low-fat milk.
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we offer suppers for at risk students. in detroit we warmly welcome the higher nutrition standards. the legislation resulting regulations have prompted us to institute changes that are making a positive difference in our children and employees. it provides a frame work for other legislation, including additional training opportunities and equipment and purchasing systems. we have been allowed to introduce new equipment, convection ovens are the new norm. deep fat fryers are obs lieutenan -- obsolete. in addition to new equipment, our food distribution partners are finding products we need to
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provide our children with the quality food they need and deserve. we have found food manufacturers become determined to meet our improved nutrition standards. food companies of all sizes are following the innovations designed to meet the new regulatory requirements. we are approximately 80% of our children in detroit are eligible for free meals. i have discovered that hunger and nutrition is not confined to children from low income families. it's as common from the children at the end of the cul-de-sac as end of street corners. high poverty schools like in our district are able to provide breakfast and lunch free of charge. reducing hunger. the program deliver benefits to
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our program. from elimination of paper applications. the increase meal participation rates allow me to capture scale while the savings generated by the paper application -- improving overall stability of our school programs as you're likely aware, 4,000 schools in 11 states are now participating cep. the work of you and your committee, chair woman, make an incredible positive difference in the lives of children every day. each of you know far better than i that the usda funding is all about improving the economic conditions of rural america. one of my greatest joys, and another direct benefit of the improved nutrition standards have been increasing our purchasing of michigan grown products. as vice chair of the local food
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association, the nation's only trade association for buyers and sellers, we have produced local food. i'm technically motivated to do my part to increase the share of local farmers. we have increased partnerships, healthy returns for them and our children. we are feeding fresh michigan aspar gus to teenagers, and they like it. we are introducing them to fresh foods that will increase health and quality of life. in addition to fresh fruits and vegetabl vegetables, we also have the benefits of delivering educational opportunities in the cafeteria, the classroom by participating farmers and school garden opportunities. in 2012, community partners initiated garden at the school. expanding real-life laboratories
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to teach children about health, nutrition and growing food. each features raised garden beds and access, thereby having access to fresh fruits and vegetables. the learning centers -- we have a two and a half acre farm, and we have reestablished a nationally known farm. we are also engaged in development of the kettering project which is the repurposing of a closed 30-acre site. our shared progress represents a solid value for our position for the nation. as leaders, whether we are parents in congress, school nutrition officials in food bess or usda we must get away from the process of change to
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progress. institutional change is difficult and often perceived near impossible. it always takes time and includes short-term discomfort. the investments have and will ten to generate returns. short-term panes pale in comparison. change, work making takes time. nine out of ten school districts across the country are already in compliance with the new standards. we are already making it work and work well in detroit. i'm fully confident that all other districts will do the same. thank you for the opportunity to be but, as a michiganer i want to say how proud and grateful we are for your leadership on this issue. >> thank you very much. we're so pleased to have you
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today. mr. clements, we welcome you as well. >> thank you very much. chair woman, members of the committee. my name is scott clements from the mississippi department of education. on behalf of the state board of education and the food workers, thank you for this opportunity to speak with you today. i have a few mississippi initiatives to discuss. the first child nutrition purchasesing entity in the country. it began in 1992 to simplify procurement for local districts. the majority of districts have a small number of schools, and many of these are rurally located. delivery fees were high due to the limited buying power of those small districts. how much, by pooling together
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the buying power of almost every school in our state, we're able to utilize the economies of scale, inhaeshts with large-volume purchases. this allows us to provide significant savings to participating organizations. our office offers bids for foods and related supplies in excess of $130 million per year. due to the high volume of purchases, we're able to negotiate prices directly with manufacturers and sometimes we're able to reduce costs even further by having only delivery fees associated with those items. currently, our cooperative has 183 organizations with almost 1,000 delivery sites. the majority of the participating organizations are public psychologies, and we have all but two of our school districts in the state participating, and we also have a number of head starts and governmental agencies who are also pasch tess pating in the national school lurgs program. we're not allowed to use usda
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fu funds to support this grprogram. it is self-funded. we charge about a halfpenny per served. our office is responsible for ordering and distribution of about $16 million. usda donated foods annually. we already have a statewide delivery system in place. we're able to reduce the costs by having those usda foods delivered by the same manufacturers, the same brokers. we've also made use of both the buying power and destry bugs network of our purchasing network to support the schools at the state level. schools face challenges. many of our state's most abundant crops, cotton, soybeans, obviously can't go to the cafeteria table. then we have many of our most plentiful crops also have
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hardesha harvests during the summer season when school's not in session. we work with the department of defense and the mess miss department of agriculture since 2002 to bring locally grown produce to schools throughout the state. in year '14/'15 we'll have about $1 million of local produce. another initiative was meeting the new sodium requirements. products didn't exist to meet the sodium requirements and still have nutritious and appetizing meals. the buying power of our cooperative, again, played a role. we were able to partner with a chef from the culinary institute of america and a national manufacturer to provide, actually they produce a new, low-sodium spice blends. we have trey of those available
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now. and those are available to schools throughout the united states. we also supplied schools with 50 standardized recipes to incorporate the spice blends to reduce sodium in school meals. the last thing i'd like to talk about is school menus. sense 1996 mississippi has provided mississippi cycles, it was a coordinated program of sample menus and recipes that the schools could implement and meet nutrition standards. it was updated in 2005. but we found with the new act in 2010 that that system no longer worked. the menu planning was more complex. so we pulled together a task force, created mississippi recipes for success. we have standardized menus, a six-bi six-binder set. and this was all in response to
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the complex menu planning which we felt that our small schools didn't have the resources to implement by themselves. and the last piece of that is, again, with our purchasing cooperative, mississippi recipes for success, we have standardized ingredients and recipes for all our schools across mississippi. when it comes to the add men administrative reviews, it has simplified the process. thank you, again, for the opportunity to appear before this committee. i'd be pleased to answer any questions or provide additional information as needed. thank you. >> well, thank you very much, and ms. bauscher, thank you very much. we're so glad you're here. >> thank you, chairman, ranking member cochran, other members of the commit e on behalf of the
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55,000 members of the association thank you for allowing us to discuss our shared goal. school nutrition professionals recognize the importance of school meals to the academic success of america's students, that's why we have expanded breakfast options, increased summer feeding sites, launched supper feeding programs. we have worked diligently to improve the nutrition of school menus and support most of the regulations. we are increasing the serving size and variety of fruits and vegetables we offer, serving more whole greains. we're making things more appealing to students. school nutrition professionals are truly committed to the healthy hunger free kids act. that is why we are so concerned about the historic decline in
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student lunch participation. for 30 years, the national school lunch program has grown steadily, but according to usda, under the new requirements, student participation is abruptly down in 49 states. more than 1 million fewer students choose school lunch. nationwide we have witnessed a nearly 15% decline in paid-meal participation. if this trend continues, the school cafeteria will no longer be a place where are all students dine and learn healthy habits together but rather a place where poor students must go to get their free lunch. schools have drugled with student acceptance of menu options. many have been challenged to find whole-grain rich tortillas, crackers and other specialty items that appeal to students.
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they complain that their pastas are burnt or taste strange, and they do have a different flavor than what students may find at home or in their favorite restaurants. companies have introduced new foods that meet all of the standards and student tastes but some of these products are not widely available or affordable especially to rural districts. school districts face unique challenges because paid meal participation declines have a greater impact on their budgets. in states like colorado, minneso minnesota, new york and illinois some schools are dropping out of the program. most school districts rely on the national school lunch programs reimbursements and do not have the option or desire to leave the program. the school nutrition association found that in 2012/2013 school year 47% of school meal programs reported revenue decline while more than nine of ten reported
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food costs were up. with the federal reimbursement rate of just over $3, schools are required to spend more for healthy meals than most people spend for morning coffee. supplies, equipment and other expenses leave little more than a dollar on each lunch tray. and food is getting more expensive. yet, despite significant increases in prices over the last year, the reimbursement rate adjustment for the coming school year was smaller than the previous school year. in my district, each half pint alone will cost mow a nickle more, exceeding the increase for breakfast. although we appreciate every penny received, this adjustment comes nowhere near the cost that they must double the amount of fruit offered at breakfast, up to a full cup. also students must take a fruit
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or vegetable whether they intend to eat it or not. we have watched in despair as much of it ends up in the trash. $684 million a year. as schools struggle to manage waste and costs, it is going a school district problem. we cannot carry over losses. so school districts have to peck up our tab. financial instability in the meal program can cut into district districts' funs. some meal programs have had to strip healthy options from their a la carte options. i ask that school nutrition assoio to be part of the ongoing discussion as members of the committee draft the rae authorization language. thank you again for inviting me. and i'm happy to answer any questions.
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>> thank you very much. we certainly intend to have you involved all the way along. so dr. wilson, welcome. >> thank you. i am dr. katie wilson, the executive director of the food service management institute at the university of mississippi in oxford, mississippi. appreciate the opportunity to share outreach but today. we are meeting here at a time of unprecedent coverage of the school meals program. school meal programs are notoma part of the vital safety net for the children, i believe they are the best safety net for our children. when a child walks through those cafeteria doors, the benefit is in the form of food. due to the scope of the responsibility. school programs should serve as learning programs, educating children what a healthy meal looks like. we operate in the education arena, so school meals should be part of that process.
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it is overwhelming to think about the health outcomes of the future. yet at the same time we are working to balance our idea of what a school meal should consist of. in a school meals learning exchan exchange, with the u.k., they would tell you it wasn't easy and it took time for them to accept it. scotland has begun to see a decrease in dental issues. lindsey graham is here as a churchill fell owe. the strong federal programs is of interest to our colleagues in the united keck dom. one of the areas of interest are the numerous resources available from the institute.
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these resources are available tree of charge to assist everyone throughout the united states and its territories involved in providing meals to children using the federal school meals program. the institute is the only federally funded center dedicated to assisting child nutrition centers. authorized by congress under section 21 of the school lunch act, it is funned by the u.s. department of agriculture and other programs. training and assistance is available in a number of formats. we have hands on training, inventory control and meal pattern training available in face-to-face format with approximately 200-plus trained trainers organized as regional training teams throughout the usda regions, we've provided face-to-face training for over 7,000 professionals throughout the united states and its territories during the 2012/2013
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reporting period. i got the numbers for this year and it was well over 8,000 trainings that occurred. one example included the healthy cuisine kids culinary class. taught by a registered dietitian. it's taught whenever a state agency requests it. in mississippi they had over 240 participants in the state in a two-month period. in california they organized 10 of these. all funned either by outside foundations or the usda grant administered by the institute. these are hands-on classes offering professionals the opportunity to learn new culinary skills or refresh the ones they already have. all other face-to-face topics are available in the same manner. all of our curriculum are available to download free of charge for districts to use within their own team frame and convenience in an easy-to-use
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manner. many short-term videos are available for download as well. these are 6 to 20 minute videos, on topics such as cooking dried peas and beans. we have online training courses from how best to use usda oviru. they are easy to access from your computer or tablet. participants can stop or start them at their convenience and a certificate of completion comes up after the par testis pant completes the course and completes a test. we are going again look at exceeding this number as we compile our 2013/2014 report, all available free of charge. individual technical assistance is available free of charge if an office requests that assistance for a specific
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district. we hire a consultant based on the experts needed and help in whatever area they need. we recently worked in two districts in kansas and are presently working in new york city with personal assess tans to their district, these, again, all free of charge. madam chair, school meals have become a focus point for many in this cun tre. we provide great resources as they work to provide nutritious kneels. although it is more and more challenging, it is important to realize what our job is within that school building. a child will learn life-long eating habits during their tenure in school. and i would like to thank the leadership for providing this hearing. i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thanks you very much. mr. phil muir, welcome. >> thank you, members of the
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senate committee on agriculture, nutrition and forestry. my name is philip muir. thank you for invieting me here today and for calling attention to the critical issue of school nutrition. i am passionate about making a difference in the nutrition of our school-able children. muir copper canyon foods provides fresh fruits and vegetables to 52 rural and urban school districts in utah idaho and western wyoming with a total enrollment of 450,000 students. we are the usda dod provider for schools and indian reservations in these states. we provide fresh fruits and vegetables, school lunch, school breakfast and the summer feeding programs. schools are about 15% of our company revenue. muir copper canyon farms is a member of pro act lshlts l.c.
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which is a cooperative of 70 produce distribute uors across america. we are also a member of the united fresh produce association, and i serve on its nutrition and health council. we have a saying at muir copper canyon farm. our clients deserve the best, going home and telling their family about the new vegetables and fruits they've tried and helping to improve their eating habits. we are a partner with our school customers. our goal is to be a solution provider through information, training and consultation, assisting schools to successfully implement all the new fruit and vegetable requirements. our staff meets with our school
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customers throughout the school year to discuss the new items available. seasonality and getting the best value for their limited budgets. we provide schools with our fresh produce and handling guy as a training tool and low vied special workshops, nutrition educational materials, farmer bios. this is a clack rative relationship. i highlight a few examples. we work with schools to lower labor and packaging costs while providing them with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables easy to deliver right to the classroom. we have a booth at the utah sna fair every year. one ate ten aten de attendee sa
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don't have grills at our school. they are nutrient dense and cost-effective. from our experience there are what few key points i want to make. schools that were pro active in improving the healthfulness of their school meals early on and made incremental changes are not having problems or experiencing increased significant plate waste. successful elementary schools that qualify for the fresh fruit and vegetable program had previously introduced their students to a wide variety of fruits and veblg tables as part of their program. students eat fruits and veblg tables when they are served in great tasting, appetizing manners. the guide reasons calls for children and adults to make half their plate fruits and vegetables at every meal. how can you call a school
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breakfast or a school lunch a meal if it doesn't include at least a half cup of fruits or vegetables. after all, it's only a half a cup per meal. the produce industry is committed and stands ready to support food service directors in successfully implementing the new requirements. just last week myself and other produce distributors, growers, fresh cut processors and the produce association hosted a fresh produce pavilion at the school's convng in boston. hundreds came to our "ask the expert", produce solution center to ask questions about writing produce rfps and to talk about how they could procure more fruits and vegetables. we also presented two educational workshop sessions on these subjects, all in an effort to assist the school nutrition
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community. we strongly support the continued implementation of the hungry kids act. and make sure children have access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and select a half cup at every meal. thank you for the opportunity to speak here today, and i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thank you very much to all of you for your very important testimo testimony. let me get into the questions. and we don't have a lot of time, so i'll ask everyone to be brief so we can get in as many as we can. i know there's a lot to say. betti, ms. wiggins, let me start with you, because we hear a lot of concerns about the difficulty getting students to accept new, healthy foods, and i think back to myself or pmy kids when they
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were in school, things go up and down and it takes time to change. and we know change can be a challenge, even in our own lives, but you said students are really enjoying the food, technically the produce in detroit. so i'm wondering what you're doing differently that's helping students to want to eat fresh, to eat fruits and vegetables. >> we did at detroit. when the 2010 healthy and hunger free act was passed, i didn't wait till 2014 before i started introducing to kids. in detroit we got to do things early. because of the stronger standards this guy was going to have when he came out to review our program. so we used things like the fresh fruit and vegetable program. they ate them raw, in their natural state. and then we put them on the menu. we also implemented flexibility,
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kids don't have to take all the items. they just have to leave the line with a cup of fruit. budget permitting we introduced our local foods. being from michigan, an apple was primary. so we did introduce apples, all the different varieties of apples. and then you start early. kindergartners then are fourth graders now. fourth graders then are eighth graders now, and they know this is what a school lunch looks like now. and eighth graders now are high schoolers, so it's really about cobb constantly and continuously educating our children and putting the resources that the
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providers, the department of education provide to us so kids get used to seeing these items on their trays. >> and mr. muir, you talk about getting the best value for produce, reducing plate waste, which we hear a lot of concerns about, and, again, i've watched and my friends, i might admit once or twice myself dumping things out. i don't think that's new that kids do that. could you talk about how you're working with rural communities to address the concerns and challenges that have been raised? >> yes. thank you. that's a good question. as far as the plate waste, we do work crowly with our school districts to try to limit that. the best way to fight that is serving appro atappetizingly prepared fresh fruits and vegetables that someone actually
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wants to eat. as far as rural schools are concerned, that's a tech challenge, as an example, we service cokeville, wyoming, which is about 180 miles in from salt lake city. 1 127 families in that community. it takes effort, but we've assisted them in the educational pieces so they can provide the same level of education and fresh fruit availability as urban schools. another one is pinedale, wyoming. it's not easy to get to. it takes a ride on three separate trucks to get there, but we get produce there on a weekly basis to them too. so produce can be distributed to the rural schools, but it does
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take an extra effort, either like mr. clements has mentioned or on the distributors to help underpin those small school districts. >> thank you vef. ms. bousher, i don't think time wise i'm going to be able to get into the issue i want to, maybe on the second round on the amount of time children have to eat, which i know is an issue of concern that we need to talk about. but i do want, at this point, just to first of all congratulate you on your convention. our staff was there. i know senator cochran's and mine, and it sounds like you had a great convention, and i understand there were over 400 vendors that participated. congratulations on that, and that they all demonstrated products that were compliant in order to participate. they had to comply with breakfast, lunch and competitive
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food requirements. is that correct? >> yes. we were fortunate to have many of our industry supporters there to provide a variety of products. >> industry has stepped up to the plate to meet fat requirements that are lower in sodium, whole-grain rich and we're thankful for that. in my visits with reporters, i went straight to produce row to show them the many new products that produce vendors are offering us. and, again, our members support the increased quantities of fruits and vegetables. the wide varieties of fruits and vegetabl vegetables, but many districts are struggling with the challenge of procuring those. utah and mr. muir are very fortunate, but we're also concerned again about the waste and what's going in the trash can and how students could
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choose it if they like, how that money might not go in the trash can but could be used nor nutrition education which is very important in getting children to change their eating habits. >> absolutely. i understand, but it's great to get the 100%, that's a good first step. so we need to continue to work with you. but i thought that was an impressive first step. let's at this point turn to senator cochran. >> madam chair, thank you for your leadership, scheduling this hearing, we appreciate very much the participation of our panel and witnesses. i want to ask director clements at the mississippi department of education what his experience has been with use of tools such as the men u planner, which you
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have created at the state level to try to implement meal standards in schools within your state. what's been your challenges or successes that you could share with the committee and the panel? >> thank you, sir. i thit biggest success was we decided to, in 2010, we came up with an aggressive training schedule. and we provided, in 2012, and again in 2013, reasonable malsessions for all of our sfas so that they could get training from our office. that's been critical for our small school districts to have the tools to implement the changes. we have the online tool now and the printed versions are coming to them. the challenges have been the complexity of the rules.
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we, the expression used in mississippi sometimes, and i'm sure you'll appreciate this coming from home is we feel like we're drinking from the fire hose sometimes. there have been approximately 150 policy memos that have come out to clarify the regulations since 2010. and that's been a very big challenge for us to one, get those at our level and decide how we're going to implement them and get that training out to the school districts. and the last part, we know our partners at usda work very hard, but sometimes those guidance will come out very close to the implementation deadline. we may get it a few weeks or a month before it has to be implemented for that school year, and that's hard for us, because we have to make our training on what we think will be in place at the time, and we peak our best effort there. but sometimes those policy memos will check at the last minute,
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granted weigh love so love some exempts that come out, but when they come out at the last minute, to get the training out to our administrators. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. is that t senator brown. >> thank you, thank you. i think the testimony from all five of you has shown us, as history illustrates, that change is always difficult. you used a term thatary's sho t short-term pane, ms. wiggins, but i think dr. wilson's comments about this creates life-long eating habits for young people as they become older people and how important that is, so thank you for all that you're doing to get through this and make such a change as you've made for a good while,
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ms. wiggins in the detroit public schools, and that mr. clements you're doing in mississippi and that you're all doing. first question for dr. wilson, i want to mention the experience of cincinnati public schools. cincinnati was the first big school system in the country that started a school lurpgs program that was not government subsidized in those days. 115 years or so. the food service director for cincinnati public told us that she serves 50,000 meals per dae, added salad bars, work with stubtss to feature appealing, healthy meals, done all this while finishing the 2012 school year with a seg profit. how do we, doctor wilson replicate that success? >> thank you for the question. i think it can be replicated, and i think it has been in many other districts as well. jessica is another one that
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started early. she didn't wait for the dead lean. she started early. the usda has a healthy challenge. it started before the meal pattern was put into place as regulation. so many schools that got on board and started with the challenge, it includes nutrition education, the meal pattern and phys. ed. cation. the institute has a training class. they are able to do it. i know in my experience in wisconsin i left the district four years ago. i was in a very small rural district to start my program. and fresh fruits and vegetables, all we did was put a mandatory, you have to serve three colors. and increase in fresh fruits and vegetables skyrocketed because it was served in a pleasing manner. we bring the largest districts together and we have these kinds
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of discussions, but i think you'll find out in dallas, texas it's working well, lax os angel is doing a good job. all these states like mississippi that are doing these really great things that people can use because they were produced by state and federal dollars, they're all on those websites. kansas was another that was way ahead of the game. all of those resources are available free of charge. it's available if people know it's out there. >> ms. wiggins, my wife and i moved into the city of cleveland. the zip code we live in had the highest rates for three years running, a few years ago, had the highest rates of foreclosure of any zip code in the united states. so we know the challenges in
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urban areas. in your city, in my city. cleveland is ranked in the top two or three of any city, of all cities in the country in terms of urban gardening, and i was specifically interested in your comments that what you have done with urban cardening. talk more about that and how you have, what the city school system has done with using community gardens, and urban gardening generally. what, translate this into what we can do in cleveland and others of us can do around the country and in urban gardening, selling directly to the schools. >> thank you for the question. one of the things that's been most positive, we as detroit public schools did not try to do it by ourselves. i reached out to numerous community partners. one of my best partners is the detroit eastern market who has access to farmers.
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i also reached out to michigan state university, the best agricultural college in the country, and -- >> i would agree with that. >> i thought you would. through their extension, they provide me with agriculturists and farmers. they provide me with information. so with that kind of collaboration we started the plan. we created something called the detroit school garden collaborative. and i reached out to all the partners in the city that was engaged in that, taught our children to plant. educated our teachers. that has been fundamentally important to us is educating the teachers. we also created youth garden leaders. youth garden ambassadors so that those products could be taken care of as they grow the gardens, and when we develop our gardens, we insisted that three garden beds be used for items to
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go into the school meals. we have the stoplight salad, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes. they harvest those things. you wonder how kids can reduce plate waste wi. you get them involved in it. although you can't feed the whole school, you can feed the class it came from. and that information is shown to other kids, and that's a since of pride. what our biggest source of pride in detroit public schools we now have a local restaurant who menus the detroit public schools stoplight salad. i work with cleveland to look at their gardening program, but it's a commitment to the new nutrition standards that made me realize that it was going to be through nutrition education. community involvement, student involvement, that we were going to make this work, and that's
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why i see the new standards as a value proposition for our nation. so all that support, what we're treeing to do is stem childhood obesity. >> thanks, thanks very much. senator leahy asked to put a statement into the record which we will do without objection and a copy of his book that was put together with vermont. he reminded us that the pumpkin squares in front of you come from vermont. and we thank senator casey for the mushroom meatballs. so we're eating well today. we'll now turn to senator johanns. >> let me start with you, ms. bauscher.
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i found your testimony interesting and very candid and honest about the challenges you're facing, like probably every member on in the united states senate, we visit a lot of schools, we all do. it's a way to get an honest assessment. when i visit schools and open it up to questions these days over the last few years, as a matter of fact, one of the common criticisms i hear from kids relates to the school lunch program. it may be about choices. it may be about food that they don't want to eat. it may be about they're not getting enough to eat. that sort of thing. it seems to me that whatever we do with all of our good
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intentions, if we can't sell it to kids we're fooling ourselves. because it will go on their plate, then it will go to the trash bin. here's what i worry about. i worry about that we've thrown so much at schools that we are going to get to a point where participation goes down. schools will back away from the program. kids will back away from the program, and at the end of the day, what we end up with is the poor kids eating the school lunch program, because it's free and reduced. and the rest of the kids who have the resources from home to do something else are going to do something else. am i missing something here? am i off base? >> you've just summarized many of the concerns that our members across the country have exresed.
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we want school meals to be appealing to all students. we have to feed all students shall because we don't want those students eligible for free and reduced meals to have any stigma attached to receiving meals. as i mentioned, members across the country have worked very hard. many of us -- i am with betti. i was an early adopter. i made changes early and often, cultivated community partners, but that is still a challenge to assure that our meals are appealing to all students. and but that's why i think some flexibility is important in assuring that students at any to come to the cafeteria. we will continue to encourage them to make healthy choices, but operators need a little bit of flexibility in order to assure that all of their students participate in the program. >> as each witness was
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testifying today, it just occurred to me how different the places are you come from. there's nothing like detroit in my state. and i say that, just simply because it's a bigger city than -- i mean, it's just, it's kind of hard to describe. detroit is not like many of the communities i visit, ms. wiggins. would you agree that one of the things that we might be missing is the lack of flexibility between a detroit and a carney, nebraska? >> right, i do understand your question, but also as the former food service director in ann arbor, michigan where there was 3% free and reduced, my parents had the ability to have us have items on the tray.
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i think what you're missing -- please understand that school meals is not a welfare program. it provides direct benefits to support education for all children. now those paid children that you're worried about, i also have paid children, but those are the children of the working poor, the near poor and the soon to be poor that bring in the junk food to the cafeteria. those kids whose parents can't afford to give them money every day are the kids with their heads down on the cafeteria table and missing lunch. those are the kids, now, that i've been able to embrace and say community eligibility. community eligibility allowed me to bring more revenue into the program so i could support the new nutrition standards. i'll also a business person. i had a capital spending of $1.98 per kid.
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with cep participation went up 16% and i had more available to me. now my capital spending is around $3. because that is the flat reimbursement. we have to be savvy about what we do. in ann arbor, yeah. i had to make food that was more appeali appealing, but i was not -- it didn't cost me any difficulty. in dae troit, yeah, i don't know if you heard my testimony. i'm not concerned about the kids on the urban street corners, we do a real good job taking care of them. i'm concerned about the kids in south field, where the poverty rate's about 40%. you need to make sure that you reauthorize this program so we can take care of all of our children. detroit is not any unique and differ than the number of poor children in appalachian, west virginia or kentucky or out west
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in the american native reservations. mine's just magnified because i'm bigger, but the programs and legislation before you right now, the reauthorization is a, not only a good start, it's a necessary start so we can talk about feeding all children. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you very much. senator donnelly. >> thank you, madam chair. ms. wiggins, when you have conferences, one of the things that has bothered me so much is the dramatic increase in type two didiabetes. that we see. is that a subject that comes up at your conferences on how your efforts can stem the tide of that. >> that's a subject that comes up in our district. and that's one of the reasons through the usda wellness policy
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we've been able to implement the standards. when you have a 6-year-old with type two diabetes or grossly overweight, our leaders are just as concerned as i am, and they support these nutrition standards. so it's not just confined to school lunch ladies. it's really an issue that we all need to be concerned about. >> i would think that's a subject that as you look at it, the direct action of your work can change the impact on the health of our children. >> well, i agree with you. i got truly interested when the se secretary of the army came before this body and said our kids are so grossly obese and i was shaking may head. that's motivated me more than ever to work hard to implement the new nutrition standards. you have to be a savvy food
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service director. you got to use all the tools. usda, this government provides us with a lot of tools. 10% of my food comes from usda commodities. >> my friend senator high cam had to go preside over the senate, one of the kearns he has is equipment needs. when you lack at the equipment th -- look at the equipment you have and look at the equipment you're going to need -- i see dr. wilson shaking your head. are there things we can do with equipment needs? >> i'll briefly tell you. what we do across the country as well and the training with equipment, that definitely is an issue. there are a lot of infrastructures in schools that don't have coolers and freezers and schools that were built without kitchens, so as people again to progress into this different mode in feeding children in our school systems, updating equipment, getting new equipment is definitely a need
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out there that we used to have equipment grants years ago when i first started in the business. and it was wonderful, because you could get some really nice pieces of equipment, and the equipment now can be universal, you can use it to steam, bake, roast, all in one piece of equipment. so that is definitely a need in the country. >> mr. clements, you know, one of the things you do is try to leverage the purchasing power of smaller districts as well and try to get the best deal for everybody. how do you bring in your local farming groups? i'm from indiana. and i think one of the most, one of the proudest moments for our farmers is when they see their products used in their town to serve meals to their kids. how do you bring that together? do you need to put our local ag performers in like purchasing groups or, i mean groups that
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you buy from? what makes it easy for you to try to bring it as local as possible? >> we have had some very good success with local farmers, and we're very happy with that. and we have relied very strongly on the mississippi department of agriculture to connect us with local farmers and use the department of defense program to actually purchase through that d.o.d. program to purchase through them. there are some challenges. we have many small farmers who struggle with the cost of certification to show that their product is safe for a vulnerable population. we have a few large farmers who are meet those requirements very easily. and the irony of it has been as we've seep farmers markets increase in mississippi, it's pulled progress away from the school lunch program. it's a struggle every year to
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find the products that will come in that we can afford on the program with our limited reimbursement, but our state ag department's been very helpful with that. >> i would think within the confines, obviously of safety, the more options would also provide our ag community, farmers markets, other places that they can send their produce to, and, as i said, you know, in uk at thatting talking to farmers is one of the great moments of pride is seeing their products in their own schools making their own kids healthy and safe. >> at this point, i'm asking senator gillibrand to take over as chair. i need to go to the floor. i'll vote and come right back. at this point we have senator colgan who is next, and i will turn the chair over
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gillibrand. >> thank you. we all want our kids to be healthy and to have nutritious meals, but there is a disagreement on the flexibility that's needed for the school lurges program. and i want to use the whole green requirement as an example. july 1, the new requirement kicked in, and that provides that for all cereal grain foods that are served, they have to be 100% whole-grain products. so we're talking all bread products, crackers, pizza crust, taco shells, anything you can think of that's made with grains, has to be 100%. so ms. bauscher, i'm going to start with you. you represent the 55,000 school nah trigsists who have to deliver this program on the
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ground, not someone in washington, dshl c. that can say here's the perfect. here's what we want, but something to deliver to these children every day and deliver something they'll eat. so address the flexibility issue, and then i'm going to come back, and i have a question for each one of our panelists. >> related to the whole-grain requirement, you are right. effective july 1, 100% have to be whole-grain rich. all of us are there at 50%. and many of us are beyond that. i will be at 100%. although there's some new items that my students will be trying this semester, and i hope that they like them. across the country, there seems to be that single item in most regions that some school food authorities have had a difficult time finding a product that's acceptable for their kids. tortillas in the southwest,
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biscuits and grits in the south. bagels in the northeast. so, again, i think most districts wouldn't have trouble getting to 90% if there were that culturally significant bread grain item that they like. our manufacturers have stepped up and produced some great items.
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