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Media Room April 12, 2024

FARE Comments on WIC Final Rule and Its Impact on Food Allergy Families

Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO of FARE, commented on the final rule published by USDA for WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) program food packages:

“FARE is extremely disappointed that USDA did not embrace the strong, science-based recommendation that early introduction of peanut can prevent a life-long food allergy by not including peanut products in WIC’s infant food packages. We will continue to advocate for early introduction that will reach all infants born in the U.S. We were pleased however, that the final rule did allow for substitutions needed to ensure safe, healthy, and nutritious food is available to those with life-threatening food allergies.”

USDA chose not to include peanut products in WIC’s infant food packages, stating it was outside the scope of the program, despite repeated studies demonstrating that early introduction of peanut between 4-6 months of age and continuing through 12 months and beyond dramatically reduces the risk of developing peanut allergy. This recommendation was included in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For WIC food packages for children and women, the final rule does address several recommendations FARE made to make substitutions easier for those with existing food allergies, by expanding WIC food package tailoring, removing barriers for substitutes in some food categories, and introducing waivers to address cultural food preferences.

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About FARE

FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest food allergy charity supporting research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more, visit: foodallergy.org.

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