food policy


  • [5] While food safety concerns may have motivated some of the earliest food policy initiatives, public policies developed around other forms of consumer protections during
    the latter half of the 20th century, including food labeling and dietary guidance.

  • History of food policy outside of the U.S. federal government[edit] The primary international agency with a focus on food policy is the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
    of the United Nations, established in 1945 with four express purposes: to improve nutrition and living standards in member nations, improve the efficiency of production and distribution of all food and agricultural products, better the conditions
    of rural populations, and expand the world economy in such a way that it would ensure humanity’s freedom from hunger.

  • [11] Food policies and population health in a global setting Historically, food policy was generally linked to the health of a population, however food and fiber production
    can play roles in biofuels, animal feed, planetary health and other major systems and structures.

  • A large amount of U.S. spending occurs to support food security, support food, fiber, and energy production, and an ample human food supply chain through twelve titles including
    nutrition assistance and farm subsidy programs.

  • Food policymakers engage in activities such as regulation of food-related industries, establishing eligibility standards for food assistance programs for the poor, ensuring
    safety of the food supply, food labeling, and even the qualifications of a product to be considered organic.

  • Food policies are designed to influence the operation of the food and agriculture system balanced with ensuring human health needs.

  • Wiley devoted his career to raising public awareness of problems with adulterated food; developing standards for food processing; and campaigning for the Pure Food and Drug
    Act, also known as the “Wiley Act”.

  • [33] The federal government had faced increased pressure to improve the nutritional quality of meals served in public schools over the last several decades from a wide range
    of advocacy groups with a goal of aligning the foods served with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which are based on scientific research showing the benefits of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and reductions in added sugars, refined
    grains, and sodium.

  • Legislative Branch[edit] With authority over the nation’s annual budget, Congress also plays a role in the formulation of food policies, particularly around issues related
    to farming and nutrition assistance.

  • [45] In addition, the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides funding for coupons given to needy older adults for use in local markets and roadside produce vendors
    approved by each state.

  • [2] In a developing nation, there are three main objectives for food policy: to protect the poor from crises, to develop long-run markets that enhance efficient resource use,
    and to increase food production that will in turn promote an increase in income.

  • [48] The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011 and gives the FDA new authorities to regulate the way food is grown, harvested, and processed.

  • [2] In a more developed country such as the United States, food and nutrition policy must be viewed in context with regional and national economic concerns, environmental
    pressures, maintenance of a social safety net, health, encouragement of private enterprise and innovation, and an agrarian landscape dominated by fewer, larger mechanized farms.

  • [27] In recent decades, policy makers have come under increased pressure to balance the interests of traditional farming in the United States and issues around organic farming,
    regenerative agriculture, the environmental impact of agriculture, food vs. fuel, and international food security concerns.

  • [42][43] Role of farmers’ markets[edit] A concern about lack of access to fresh produce for many recipients of SNAP benefits has led to an effort to increase the role farmers’
    markets can play in providing healthy fruits and vegetables to those receiving nutrition assistance.

  • The Agricultural Marketing Act (AMA) was passed in 1946, allowing inspection of exotic and game animals on a pay-by-case basis, and giving the USDA the authority to inspect,
    certify and identify the class, quality and condition of agricultural products.

  • Nutrition assistance[edit] Ensuring adequate food for families and individuals is also a centerpiece of national food policy efforts.

  • Food policies evolve as nations improve their economic condition, moving from an economy based on isolated, self-sufficient rural farming to one based on trade and the development
    of a wider variety of goods and services offered.

  • Other USDA agencies with a role in food safety include the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which aims to prevent animal and plant diseases in domestic
    and imported products, and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), a service whose primary function is to set quality, grades and marketing standards for dairy products, fruits, vegetables and meat.

  • There are seven major rules to implement FSMA that require specific actions that must be taken at different points along the supply chain to prevent contamination in human
    and animal food.

  • Food policy is the area of public policy concerning how food is produced, processed, distributed, purchased, or provided.

  • The various offices within the FDA carry out the agency’s unified food program that protects and promotes the public health through the following activities: • Ensuring the
    safety of foods for humans, including food additives and dietary supplements, by setting science-based standards for preventing foodborne illness and ensuring compliance with these standards • Ensuring the safety of animal feed and the safety
    and effectiveness of animal drugs, including the safety of drug residues in human food derived from animals • Protecting the food and feed supply from intentional contamination • Ensuring that food labels are truthful and contain reliable
    information consumers can use to choose healthy diets.

  • This often includes decision-making around production and processing techniques, marketing, availability, utilization, and consumption of food, in the interest of meeting
    or furthering social objectives.

  • Agricultural concerns[edit] Main article: Agricultural policy of the United States Government interventions in the agricultural economy influence the quantities produced and
    price of food.

  • The framework suggests that strategies for coping with the social, psychological, geographic, economical stresses of poverty and structural factors are central to the link
    between poverty and its impacts on healthy lifestyles such as less access to healthy affordable foods in neighborhoods (the term food swamps have been used to describe locations with high amounts of liquor retail, convenience stores and few
    grocery stores with produce and lean meats), less access to safe places for physical activity, poor access to quality healthcare to screen and counsel for food security and health, and unhealthy weight status.

  • The USDA has a variety of programs, policies, and activities that impact and relate to sustainable agriculture, natural resources, and community development including food

  • [46] Food safety[edit] In broad policy terms, food safety can be described as an attempt to limit contaminants in the food supply.

  • [17] The widely accepted food pyramid was used as part of this dietary guidance, but more recently MyPlate has been developed to show proper nutrition practices in reference
    to a place setting.

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a broad range of interests involved in food policy.

  • [20] Additionally, any animal product that is labeled organic must follow guidelines that the livestock living conditions, health care practice and feed follow organic specifications.

  • Subsidies to farming interests, determined primarily by the farm, are expected to cost $223 billion over the 10-year period from 2013 to 2022, according to the Congressional
    Research Service (CRS).

  • [2] History History of food policy within the U.S. federal government[edit] The history of food policy in the United States started in the 1880s with policies being carried
    out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • The farm bill also authorizes funding for SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs that form a social safety net, projected to be at $772 billion over the 10-year-period
    from 2013 to 2022.

  • [4] Governance[edit] All three branches of the federal government play a role in the formulation of food policy in the United States.

  • Industry initiatives and the work of advocacy organizations that affect food policy are also addressed in this section.

  • [26] In 2020, the USDA also created a COVID-19 food assistance program.

  • [9] Policy-makers seek to better understand how economic principles govern supply and demand and how supply and demand influence food security, first defined in the 1970s
    as “the ability to meet food needs in a consistent way,”[10] though the definition continues to evolve.

  • [21] The USDA, EPA, and FDA signed a formal agreement in 2018 to work together to educate consumers, engage partner and stakeholders, and design and monitor solutions to reduce
    food loss and waste.

  • The role of poverty in food insecurity as well as agricultural concerns have also contributed to the food policy landscape and debate in the United States in recent decades.

  • In the United States where most state minimum wages have not been updated to provide what some groups deem a “livable wage”, food assistance programs help provide food resources
    to individuals and families through monthly assistance.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a variety of public health programs that support state and local health departments, universities, and community-based
    organizations to implement healthy food nutrition standards in community settings such as early care and education, schools, park and recreation centers, worksites, and hospitals and to support community access through healthy food retail

  • The primary arenas of federal involvement in food policy include agriculture, nutrition assistance, food safety, dietary guidance, and labeling.

  • [1] Rice Most food policy is initiated at the domestic level for purposes of ensuring a safe and adequate food supply for the citizenry.

  • [5] In 1965, reorganization of the ARS’ Consumer and Marketing Service brought federal meat and poultry inspection into one program.

  • [4] Judicial Branch[edit] The U.S. Supreme Court has been involved in numerous decisions that have affected food policy around trade and patent concerns,[22] food safety,[23]
    and labeling.

  • Food policy can be promulgated on any level, from local to global, and by a government agency, business, or organization.

  • The United States farm bill specifies the type of policy instruments that will be funded in a given cycle and at what cost.

  • A framework for using this information to inform policies surrounding food benefits has been proposed.

  • While the aim of ENP is to target low-income elderly in cities as well as rural settings, there is no means test to use these services; drafters of the initial legislation
    wanted to limit barriers to use of the program by older adults.

  • [3] Food policy comprises the mechanisms by which food-related matters are addressed or administered by governments, including international bodies or networks, and by public
    institutions or private organizations.

  • Within the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the safety of most food products with the exception of meat,
    poultry, and processed eggs.

  • This allowed parents and caregivers to purchase foods from local markets and stores to ensure food security for their children using the P-EBT option.

  • In 1977, following several changes in organization, the Food Safety and Quality Service, renamed the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in 1981, was created to perform
    meat and poultry grading.

  • USDA has also taken significant steps to reduce food waste in the U.S. Food waste is approximated to be 30 to 40 percent of the food supply and translates to about 133 billion
    pounds and $161 billion worth of food as reported by USDA’s Economic Research Service.

  • A critical concept related to chemical additives in food is known as generally recognized as safe or GRAS, a designation of the Food and Drug Administration for food substances
    that are exempt from safety testing.

  • [2] A number of different instruments are used to incentivize farmers to grow crops and buffer them through difficult economic or weather cycles, including price supports,
    supply controls, deficiency payments, direct payments, insurance, and demand expansion.

  • [35][36] This federally funded program provides grants to state and area agencies on aging to help finance the cost of congregate and home-delivered meals for older adults
    living independently in the community.

  • Nutrition standards for school breakfasts and lunches were revised for the first time in 15 years through the passage of the act to align them more closely with healthy foods
    recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  • Grants are made by the Administration on Aging to state agencies and local area councils on aging that provide a variety of other services to their communities’ seniors.

  • Food policy in the United States In the United States, food policy decisions are made by government entities at the federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local level.

  • Executive Branch[edit] The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal agency that is responsible for ensuring the safety of food products, with the exception of meat,
    poultry, and processed eggs.

  • The primary demand expansion program supported by the federal government through the Department of Agriculture is known as the commodity checkoff program.

  • The program known for decades as “food stamps” was revamped and renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2008 to acknowledge the change from paper food
    stamps to electronic benefit transfer or EBT cards.

  • [29] Children[edit] The nutritional needs of children is important component of nutrition assistance in the United States.

  • In 1938, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was passed by Congress, giving the FDA authority to set food safety standards.

  • The program is periodically re-authorized under the Older Americans Act and is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration on Aging.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the U.S. government through the USDA created temporary emergency standards of eligibility and benefits under the Food and Nutrition Act
    of 2008.

  • [5] The Bureau of Chemistry, which was charged with enforcing the Pure Food and Drug Act, was reorganized in 1927, becoming the Food, Drug, and Insecticide Administration,
    and eventually came to be called the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1931.


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