WIC program saw widespread declines during the pandemic

Participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) saw widespread declines during the pandemic, continuing a trend that took hold over the past decade due to significant enrollment hurdles. The declines contrasted with the sharp rise in demand for programs like SNAP and Medicaid. (No paywall)

Report: Pandemic waivers helped boost WIC enrollment

Pandemic-era tweaks to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children helped boost participation in the program, commonly known as WIC, after years of declining enrollment, according to a report released yesterday by the Food Research & Action Center.

After court rebuff, Bayer tries new paths to resolve Roundup lawsuits

Health and chemical giant Bayer said it would pursue a five-point plan to mitigate its future litigation risks over Roundup herbicide, including a discussion of whether to remain in the lawn-and-garden market and a continued pursuit of settlements of lawsuits that allege the weedkiller causes cancer.

EPA is given 60 days to ban or modify rules for chlorpyrifos

After blasting the EPA for "13 years of interminable delay," the federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday set a 60-day deadline for the agency to either ban agricultural use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos or set newer and safer exposure levels for the chemical. The dissenter in the 2-1 decision said the short time frame "virtually guarantees" a ban.

Eskin appointed to No. 2 food safety post at USDA

Sandra Eskin, director of food safety for the Pew Charitable Trusts, was appointed deputy undersecretary for food safety, announced the USDA on Tuesday.

U.S. to donate masks to food banks and pantries

The government will distribute more than 25 million washable face masks through community health centers and the food bank network over the next three months, announced the White House on Wednesday.

Bayer offers up to $2 billion to settle future Roundup lawsuits

In its second proposal to settle future lawsuits that allege its Roundup weedkiller is carcinogenic, seed and ag-chemical giant Bayer said on Wednesday that it would pay up to $200 million to individual claimants and a maximum of $2 billion overall to cover lawsuits filed in the next four years.

FDA cool to USDA push to regulate GE livestock

Commissioner Stephen Hahn cited the FDA's role in approving a genetically modified pig for food and biomedical use — "a tremendous milestone for scientific innovation" — at the same time that his agency has been coolly neutral on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's proposal to have the USDA take over regulation of GE livestock.

With food workers likely to receive a Covid-19 vaccine early, experts say states should prepare now

Many states are prioritizing food system workers for early access to any Covid-19 vaccine, and experts say officials should begin outreach to workers now to overcome any trust, language, and access barriers, writes Leah Douglas in FERN’s latest story. A vaccine may be made available to …