Skip to Content

Dr. Irwin Redlener speaks out on WIC potato controversy

05/12/2014

Children's Health Fund Co-Founder and President Dr. Irwin Redlener has been vocal in efforts to stop the potato industry from lobbying its way onto the list of nutritious foods covered by the federal WIC program.

WIC, which stands for Women, Infants and Children, helps pregnant women and those with young children buy nutritious food for their children’s critical formative years.

For more than four decades, scientists have decided which foods WIC covers. Now, lobbyists for the potato industry are trying to get white potatoes added to the list.

Dr. Irwin Redlener’s latest Huffington Post commentary focuses on the issue, as well as an interview he gave to Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post. Dr. Redlener also weighed in with USA Today,which published a strong editorial that came down firmly on the side of current scientific guidelines for WIC.

If the industry succeeds, Dr. Redlener writes in the Huffington Post, “it would seriously undermine the important precedent that scientists and doctors should determine the inclusion of particular foods in the WIC program, not Congress.  If Congress violates this precedent, it would open the door to more lobbying for particular foods.”