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News Release - government and food policy

New Tufts Study Underscores Need for Congress to Adopt ‘Healthy Staples’ Food Stamps Plan

WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee says that a new Tufts University study, which finds that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants eat fewer fruits and vegetables and more processed meat than those not receiving SNAP assistance, underscores the need for Congress to amend the farm bill to include the group’s Healthy Staples SNAP plan.

Farm Bill Passes Senate Ag Committee without Plan to Improve SNAP Nutrition

The Senate’s farm bill passed out of the Agriculture Committee on June 13 without amendments to improve the nutrition of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, says the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members.

American Medical Association Calls on Federal Food Policy to Address Racial Disparities

A statement from Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., president of the Physicians Committee: 

I want to salute the American Medical Association (AMA) for addressing racial disparities in heart disease, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. In each of these, deaths among African Americans are much higher than for whites.

Rep. Tom McClintock’s Farm Bill Amendment Would Make SNAP Healthier

WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors—commends Congressman Tom McClintock of California for introducing an amendment to the House farm bill that would align the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with the Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC, which promotes food packages that include foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes that are deemed to provide good nutrition.

Poll Finds Strong Support for Incentivizing Fruits and Vegetables for People on Food Stamps

A new poll released by the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12, 000 doctors—finds strong support for focusing on healthful foods in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

Budget Resolution Introduced by House Republican Study Committee Includes Physicians Committee Proposal for SNAP Reform

The Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 150 House Republicans, has introduced its budget resolution for fiscal year 2019, which includes a proposal that would require states to restrict Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program purchases to healthy foods.

California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act Advances in State Legislature

Californians may soon see an end to animal testing for cosmetics, as the California Senate Judiciary Committee passed the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, SB 1249, 5-1 during a hearing on April 24.

Ag Committee Vote on Farm Bill Amendments Doesn’t Improve SNAP Nutrition

WASHINGTON—The House Agriculture Committee’s vote today on amendments to its draft farm bill did not result in nutrition improvements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

California Bill to Provide Patients and Prisoners Plant-Based Meals Moves Forward

California patients and prisoners may soon be able to choose a healthful plant-based option at every meal thanks to a 6-0 vote in favor of SB 1138 during a California Senate Public Safety Committee hearing on April 17.

Physicians Committee Statement: Doctors Sue USDA Again for Censoring Animal Welfare Data

In filing a second lawsuit regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 shutdown of an animal welfare database, the Physicians Committee is keeping the pressure on.

Doctors Say House Farm Bill Is Missing Plan for Improving SNAP Nutrition

The Physicians Committee—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members—says that the House Agriculture Committee’s draft farm bill released on April 12 lacks a concrete plan for providing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants good nutrition. The group is calling on Chairman Mike Conaway to incorporate the group’s Healthy Staples plan.

Doctors Call for ‘Healthy Staples’ SNAP on Eve of House Farm Bill Draft


As the House Agriculture Committee prepares to release a draft of the Farm Bill on April 12, the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members—is calling on Chairman Mike Conaway to incorporate the group’s Healthy Staples plan into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Moby Calls on USDA to Focus SNAP on Healthy Foods

A statement from Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D.

Doctors Not Lovin’ USDA-McDonald’s Partnership to Push Disease-Causing Dairy

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members—says it is irresponsible for the U.S. government to partner with McDonald’s to increase the amount of dairy products used in meals at 14,000 locations beginning April 2.

California Legislation Would Mandate Plant-Based Options in Hospitals, Prisons

SB 1138, introduced in the California State Legislature by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), would require licensed California health care facilities and state prisons to make available plant-based meal options containing no animal products or by-products, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, or eggs.

Doctors File Legal Complaint Challenging Texas Beef Council’s Misleading Health Claims

Texas doctors with the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed a legal complaint on March 13 to stop the Texas Beef Council from publishing false and misleading health claims about beef products.

Doctors Support Bipartisan Policy Center’s Call for SNAP to Focus on ‘Healthy Nutrition’

WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members—supports recommendations in a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center that calls on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to congressionally  mandate a focus on diet quality and healthy nutrition, including encouraging increased  consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Los Angeles Backs California Legislation that Would Prohibit Sale of Animal-Tested Cosmetics

Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield has issued a resolution in support of the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, SB 1249, a bill that would prohibit the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the state.

Resolution Urges OEHHA to Add Cancer-Causing Processed Meat to Prop 65

SACRAMENTO—SCR 100, a resolution introduced in the California State Legislature by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), urges the Office of Environment Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to add processed meat—such as hot dogs, bacon, and deli meat—to California’s list of substances known to cause cancer, as required under Proposition 65.

America’s Harvest Box Is Step toward Addressing SNAP Nutrition Deficiencies

WASHINGTON—America’s Harvest Box, proposed in the president’s FY2019 budget request, is a step toward ensuring that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants get the grains, vegetables, beans, and fruit they need to stay healthy, says the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

JAMA Commentary Exposes Food Industry’s Skewed Science

The JAMA article, by Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., with Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Eric L. Ding, Sc.D., both from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, targets meta-analyses, large studies that can be misused, potentially duping the press, public, and policymakers about foods and serving the interests of the food industry.

USDA’s MyPlate Is Making Americans Sick, Says Doctors Group

MyPlate could more successfully help Americans fight diet-related diseases if the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed the dairy group and replaced the protein portion of the plate with a legumes category, says a federal petition filed on Aug. 10 by the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members.

American Medical Association Calls for Healthier Foods in SNAP Program

The Physicians Committee—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctors members—applauds the American Medical Association (AMA) for adopting a resolution on June 13 that calls on the federal government to improve the healthfulness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps.

Physicians Committee, Members of Congress Call on USDA to Restore Animal Welfare Database

WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, in cooperation with the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, convened a coalition of lawmakers, legal scholars, and organizations on Capitol Hill Thursday, June 6, to bring attention to the federal government’s withholding of animal welfare information. The briefing, held in the Capitol Visitor Center, was in partnership with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). Speakers from five other advocacy organizations also spoke to the 125 attendees at the briefing.

Animal Welfare Act Fails to Prevent Needless Animal Use, Suffering, Death

The Animal Welfare Act, passed more than 50 years ago, has not matured past its infancy in terms of effectively preventing unnecessary and inhumane animal experiments, says Physicians Committee senior counsel Leslie Rudloff, Esq., in an article published in the Syracuse Law Review’s Symposium on Animal Law.

Physicians Committee Statement: USDA Budges on Animal Welfare Database, But Not Enough

Earlier this week, the Physicians Committee and a coalition of other organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to restore the agency's online animal welfare database. Today, USDA announced that it would post a small number of documents online. However, the agency needs to restore the entire database—and we won't stop working until it does.

Physicians Committee Statement: Doctors Sue Government for Hiding Animal Welfare Data

In our work to modernize and humanize research and medical training through the replacement of animal use, the Physicians Committee depended on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s animal welfare database, which was shut down on Feb. 3. We are taking legal action to restore it.

Statement from Physicians Committee | New Federal Agency Policy Hides Animal Welfare Data

In our work to modernize and humanize research and medical training through the replacement of animal use, the Physicians Committee depended on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s animal welfare database, which was shut down on Feb. 3. We are taking legal action to restore it.

New SNAP Supplement in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine Provides USDA with a Solution to Alleviate Hunger, Chronic Disease, and Health Care Costs

WASHINGTON—More than a dozen nutrition researchers are asking the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to align the recommendations for healthful eating, outlined in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

USDA’s $20 Million Cheddar Bailout Aggravates Disease in Economically Disadvantaged

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Oct. 11 that it would purchase $20 million of cheddar cheese and distribute it to food assistance programs, a decision denounced by the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors—which recently asked the White House to block the USDA’s plan to buy 11 million pounds of cheese

Doctors Urge Italian Lawmaker to Withdraw Bill Criminalizing Plant-Based Diets

A wealth of research clearly shows that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, certain cancers, and many other serious health problems. That’s why the Physicians Committee is urging Italian lawmaker Elvira Savino to withdraw a bill that could criminalize parents whose children eat plant-based diets, which research shows provide health benefits at “all stages of the life cycle.”

Lautenberg Train Station Ads Spotlight Sen. Cory Booker

WASHINGTON—Travelers in New Jersey’s busy Frank R. Lautenberg train station will encounter four large, upper-level platform billboards spotlighting Sen. Cory Booker. The ads urge constituents to thank @CoryBooker “for protecting us from toxic chemicals and honoring Sen. Lautenberg’s Legacy.” Scheduled to go up week of June 20, the ads are sponsored by the Physicians Committee, a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors. Viewers are directed to ReformToxicityTesting.org for further details. 
 

Physicians Committee Scientists Applaud Passage of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act: Bill Ensures Reform of Toxicity Testing

“The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine applauds the Senate passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, updating the statute that regulates chemicals policy. 

“The bill requires alternatives to animal tests be considered and used, and places restrictions on animal testing–which are stronger than current law–that will over time facilitate the development and adoption of human-relevant, nonanimal methods. Because information obtained on chemicals will be human-relevant, products Americans use will be safer.

Physicians Committee Scientists Urge Senate Passage of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act: Bill Ensures Reform of Toxicity Testing

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine urges the Senate’s immediate passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, updating the statute that regulates chemicals policy.

Physicians Committee Scientists Applaud Passage of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act: Bill Ensures Reform of Toxicity Testing

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine applauds the House passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, updating the statute that regulates chemicals policy.

Physicians Committee Applauds EPA Decision to Reduce Animal Use in Pesticides Testing

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today in a letter to stakeholders from the Director of the Office of Pesticide Programs that to “better ensure protection of human health … its immediate goal is to significantly reduce the use of animals” in pesticides testing requirements collectively called the “6-pack.”

Maryland Bill Will End Animal Use in Medical Education

WASHINGTON—On Thursday at 1 p.m., the Maryland House of Delegates will hold a hearing on House Bill 289, which would end animal use in medical education and training.

The Physicians Committee Praises New Dietary Guidelines for Strengthening Cholesterol Warnings, But Demands Investigation into Cholesterol Money Trail

Although its recommendations were rejected, we still need to know how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee could be so easily swayed by industry.

The Physicians Committee Sues USDA and DHHS, Exposing Industry Corruption in Dietary Guidelines Decision on Cholesterol

According to previously unreleased documents obtained by the Physicians Committee under the Freedom of Information Act, the American Egg Board had directly nominated one individual who was then placed on the DGAC. A second member was actively receiving egg-industry research grants according to industry documents, and two others worked at a university that had requested and received more than $100,000 from the American Egg Board for research aimed at challenging the cholesterol limits.

Physicians Committee Scientists Applaud Passage of Lautenberg Act (S. 697): Bill Ensures Reform of Toxicity Testing

The Senate's passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act requires alternatives to animal tests be considered and used, and places restrictions on animal testing–which are stronger than current law.

‘Cholesterol Kills’: Billboards Warn House Ag Committee Chair

WASHINGTON—“Cholesterol kills,” warn billboards near the Texas home offices of Agriculture Committee chairman Rep. K. Michael Conaway. The Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors—is appealing to Rep. Conaway with the billboards and a letter after he convened an October congressional hearing over the Agriculture Committee’s “concerns with the process of developing the Dietary Guidelines,” which are poised to remove cholesterol warnings when they are released in December.

Doctors Say Cholesterol Must Remain a Nutrient of Concern

“During the Oct. 7 hearing on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, I’m urging the federal government to keep disease-fighting cholesterol warnings in the final guidelines. House Agriculture Committee chairman Rep. K. Michael Conaway can help protect public health by ensuring that Tom Vilsack, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health, and Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, remain vigilant about cholesterol.

Congress Introduces Bill Requiring Nutrition Education for Health Care Professionals

WASHINGTON—The Education and Training (EAT) for Health Act of 2015 (H.R. 3057), introduced by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today, aims to ensure that federally employed physicians and nurse practitioners receive continuing nutrition education. The bill, supported by the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12,000 physicians—would give health care professionals the knowledge to help patients use good nutrition to fight obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic disease.

Government Expands Protections for Chimpanzees in Laboratories: Doctors React to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Final Rule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced June 12 that all chimpanzees—captive and wild—will get expanded protections under the Endangered Species Act. Read a statement by John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of academic affairs.

Landmark Chemical Legislation Protects Human Health by Requiring Nonanimal Test Methods

The Physicians Committee applauds the progress of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (CS21). The amended bill will help replace and reduce animal-based chemical tests and increase the use of human-relevant methods.

Physicians Committee Scientists Say New Chemical Safety Legislation Must Focus on Human-Relevant Toxicity Testing

Since 2005 the Physicians Committee has worked to share with Congress the importance of fixing an integral part of the regulatory process – toxicity testing. We lack information on many chemicals, and how they affect a diverse human population, because current chemical management regulations are inadequate and because we rely too heavily on slow, unreliable, and expensive animal tests.

State of the Union Must Address America's Alarming Health Says National Doctors Group

State of the Union Must Address America's Alarming Health Says National Doctors Group