public health


Trump Administration Seeks to Undermine SNAP After Congress Negotiates Bipartisan Farm Bill

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Yesterday—after work hours, in peak holiday season—Secretary Sonny Perdue held an off-camera, on-record, over-the-phone briefing about proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) that would result in major cuts to the program. At 5:03 am this morning the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) posted its new proposed rule. The proposed changes come on the heels of a failed effort to implement other ineffective and punitive work requirements in the farm bill. Read more >

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As the Dietary Guidelines Process Begins, Health Experts Want to Keep Science Front and Center

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

The Trump administration is now laying the foundation for the next quinquennial (five-year) makeover of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the public health community is taking notice.

These guidelines are the cornerstone of the food and nutrition programs that help protect our most vulnerable populations—including millions of kids, seniors, and low-income families—from hunger and malnutrition, and provide the public with information about what makes a healthy diet. But the Trump administration’s record of sidelining science and catering to industry interests doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that leading government agencies are prepared to prioritize public health. That’s why more than 200 public health experts from 42 states have signed onto a letter asking administration officials to keep science at the center of the dietary guidelines process.

Read more >

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Photo: USDA

The Dinner Table is the Latest Battleground for Trump’s Attacks on Immigrant Families

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

From an ill-conceived campaign promise to build a border wall to the recent deployment of thousands of US troops to confront a non-existent “invasion,” radical immigration policy has been a hallmark of the Trump presidency. The administration has introduced a baseless Muslim travel ban; ordered a separation of families at the southern border that landed more than 2,600 children in government shelters; and suggested that children born in the US to noncitizen parents should not be granted citizenship. Now, the administration is working to target immigrant families closer to home—at the dinner table. Read more >

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Photo: M&R Glasgow/Flickr

After Pittsburgh, Thousand Oaks, Will New Congress Push for Gun Safety Research?

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

My colleagues and I have written extensively in the past on gun violence and need to remove barriers for federal research. We have seen some progress, with Congress clarifying this past spring that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may pursue research on gun violence prevention. Previously, legislative language in spending bills (known as the Dickey Amendment) had effectively banned the CDC from researching gun violence since 1996. Gun violence is a public health issue, and as with all public health issues, it requires scientific evidence to build the most effective policies to protect people. But is that research actually happening now? We need to ensure that it is. Read more >

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Photo: FEMA

Climate Changes Health: The Backstory is the Front Story

Natalie Sampson, , UCS

12 years. That’s how long scientists say we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially to heed off the global catastrophic effects of climate change.  As such, climate change is arguably the greatest public health threat of our times as it already contributes to increased trauma, morbidity, and mortality from extreme weather events and displacement. Read more >

Photo: FEMO
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