In proposed new food rules due to start in October 2009. the Washington state Department of Health Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) would delete organic milk and the “Earth’s Best” brand of organic cereal from its list of approved foods for low income women and children.
Cost was cited by the agency as the reason for removing the products from the list. For example, the Earth’s Best brand is more than 10 percent higher in cost than other infant cereals, and organic milk is nowadays usually more than twice the cost of conventional milk. The agency said that organic milk, when approved for WIC 8 years ago, was only slightly higher in cost than non-organic, but that “This is no longer true.”
Organic advocates say the state is disregarding the health benefits of organic food. They say, for instance, that non-organic milk is more likely to contain antibiotic residues. Those wishing to avoid milk from cows treated with bovine growth hormones should know that all unflavored milk sold in Washington, not only organic-labelled, is produced from cows not treated with the hormone, the WIC program said.
Washington is the only state approving any organic food other than fresh fruits and vegetables for WIC.,
The agency is still taking comments.
To see the WIC list changes being proposed, click here.
To view all proposed changes to the approved foods list view the Changes Table (PDF, 81.70 KB).
To view details of the proposed foods to be added see Table A.
To view details of proposed changes to the current food list, see Table B.
For further information see Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 26.83 KB).