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Elyssa Koidin Schmier's picture

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Forget Big Tobacco. This week, it’s all about Big Potato!

Is anything safe from corporate lobbyists anymore?

Apparently not if Big Potato has anything to do with it. Well-paid corporate lobbyists for the potato industry are trying to mess with the healthy food package given to pregnant moms and babies through the WIC food package.

It’s like the nightmare version of that favorite childhood toy, Mr. Potato Head.

** Urge your members of Congress to side with science and nutrition, not Big Potato!

What’s going on?

Right now, the Big Potato corporate lobby is pressuring a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators to specifically legislate that white potatoes must be included in the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) food package offered to pregnant moms, babies, and toddlers.  Members of Congress of both parties appear to be tempted to support the potato industry because they think no one is watching!   By flooding U.S. Senators’ offices with messages, we’ll put them on notice that we are tracking these votes and will hold them accountable if they vote for Mr. Big Potato over our families’ health.

**It’s us, moms and dads across the nation, who can save the WIC program from the potato industry lobbyists by making out voices heard now. So please take a moment to click through here:

After you take action, we’ll deliver your signature, along with the signatures of our members from across the nation, to let Congress know that we expect them to do right by women, pregnant moms, and babies. The more signatures we can deliver, the bigger the impact we’ll have together.

This is important. The WIC food package is a medical prescription. The foods placed in the package are chosen based on a careful scientific process led by nutritionists and health professionals at the Institute of Medicine (IOM).  Most specifically, the WIC packages are designed to provide nutrients that participants aren’t getting on their own. 

**Take a minute now to tell your members of Congress that they need to support science and nutrition, not corporate lobbyists, in the WIC nutrition package:

To be clear, I personally have nothing against potatoes. In fact, I love potatoes and it turns out, I’m not the only one!  In its study of the current diets of WIC package recipients, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), discovered that WIC recipients are already eating sufficient amounts of starchy vegetables. To achieve a well-balanced diet, participants mostly need additional fruits and vegetables in the WIC package.

Since WIC was founded forty years ago, Congress has left the science and nutrition to the scientists and has never interfered with selecting which foods the WIC program should provide. Now is not the time to meddle. The WIC program serves close to 9 million low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and young children who are at nutritional risk. It is one of the strongest and most successful anti-hunger programs we have. The U.S. Congress can’t throw science out the window and start allowing corporate interest groups to come in and determine what foods gets placed in the WIC food package just so corporate interests can line their own pockets. 

Moms can’t let Mr. Big Potato win! We need to stand up for what is right and protect the WIC food package from corporate interests. Join me in writing your members of Congress right now:

It’s going to take all of us, raising our voices by sending messages to be heard by Congress. So after you take action, please post the action link on Facebook and Twitter and email to all your friends and family!

Thank you for joining me in this important fight. Your voice is a powerful one!

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