Below is the message we [Washington State WIC Nutrition Program] are sending out to stakeholders announcing the WIC approved food list for October 1, 2009. I know you will be disappointed in our decision to not allow organic milk because of cost, and I hope the following FAQ will help explain our rationale. All of this information is also on our website.
Question: Why are you not approving organic milk?
Answer: The reason is cost. Most organic milk costs over two times more than non-organic milk. When organic milk was approved for Washington WIC eight years ago, it was only slightly more costly. This is no longer true and we cannot afford to approve organic milk.
We heard from over 900 people asking us to keep organic milk approved. Many made statements that organic milk is better - more nutritious and with fewer pesticides, hormones and antibiotics than non-organic milk.
We are aware there are studies that show the benefits of organic food as well as studies which either do not show a benefit, or actually show a negative effect. WIC's primary mission is nutrition education, not research or interpreting data, and so we rely on scientific experts at universities and other organizations to interpret all the studies and provide guidance for food selection. In particular we look to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics. They and other experts do not currently state organic food should be available through WIC programs.
- · In 2005 the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine did a thorough study of the WIC foods. While they made many recommendations on what food should or should not be offered in WIC, they made no reference to the need for organic food.
- · The American Academy of Pediatrics has not supported the need for organic food.
- · The American Medical Association has not supported the need for organic food
- · The Mayo Clinic states there is no benefit to children from organic food. www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-baby-food/AN01424# http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-baby-food/AN01424
- · The American Dietetic Association states there is no benefit from organic food. http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_4143_ENU_HTML.htm
- · The U.S. Department of Agriculture states there is no conclusion about the need for or benefit from organic food. http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/faq/BuyOrganicFoodsIntro.shtml
- · The National Dairy Council states there is no benefit from organic milk. http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/NationalDairyCouncil/Nutrition/Products/Organic+Milk+FAQ+HTML.htm