Tisch Food Center Reacts to CNPP / FNS Merger Announcement | Teachers College Columbia University

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Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy

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Tisch Food Center Reacts to CNPP / FNS Merger Announcement

This fall, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will merge the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) into the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Until now, a politically appointed CNPP executive director reported directly to the Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. CNPP will now be part of FNS and will be lead by a career staff member.

In reaction to the merger, the Tisch Food Center prepared a model comment. The comment called on USDA to ensure that CNPP has qualified leadership, robust authority, and sustained financial support to effectively and efficiently carry out its responsibilities.

Why does this change matter?

  1. CNPP plays an outsized role in ALL of the federal food assistance and nutrition education programs. On the policy side, through the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, standards for nutrition programs are based on the highest quality evidence. On the consumer-facing side, MyPlate and other nutrition education tools are the most trusted and widely-used resources for helping ALL Americans navigate how to eat healthfully.
  2. CNPP's work is based on the best available science and this needs to be protected. If CNPP is going to be based at FNS it must be protected from potential conflicts of interest and have it's scientific integrity protected. Given the current administration's willingness to put non-scientists in roles that require scientific credentials, we are very concerned that this could happen with CNPP, leaving the DGAs and other nutrition guidance vulnerable to non-scientific influence.

Published Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018

Tisch Food Center Reacts to CNPP / FNS Merger Announcement

In reaction to the merger, the Tisch Food Center prepared a model comment. The comment called on USDA to ensure that CNPP has qualified leadership, robust authority, and sustained financial support to effectively and efficiently carry out its responsibilities.

Why does this change matter?

  1. CNPP plays an outsized role in ALL of the federal food assistance and nutrition education programs. On the policy side, through the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, standards for nutrition programs are based on the highest quality evidence. On the consumer-facing side, MyPlate and other nutrition education tools are the most trusted and widely-used resources for helping ALL Americans navigate how to eat healthfully.
  2. CNPP's work is based on the best available science and this needs to be protected. If CNPP is going to be based at FNS it must be protected from potential conflicts of interest and have it's scientific integrity protected. Given the current administration's willingness to put non-scientists in roles that require scientific credentials, we are very concerned that this could happen with CNPP, leaving the DGAs and other nutrition guidance vulnerable to non-scientific influence.
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