Washington, D.C.— InJuly, legislation was introduced which would make multivitamin dietary supplements an allowable purchase for the 8 million people receiving assistance through the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC). Now,a new piece of legislation, has been introduced by Representative Mike D. Rogers (R-AL) and co-sponsored by Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mia Love (R-UT), and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), that would amend Section 3 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to make multivitamin-mineral dietary supplements eligible for purchase with supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits.

The SNAP Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3841) defines a multivitamin-mineral dietary supplement as "a substance that provides at least half of the vitamins and minerals for which the National Academy of Medicine establishes dietary reference intakes, at 50% or more of the daily value ... as determined by the Food and Drug Administration; and does not exceed the tolerable upper intake levels for those nutrients for which an established tolerable upper intake level is determined by the National Academy of Medicine.”

“The introduction of this bill ensures that Americans of all socioeconomic statuses have the ability to add a multivitamin to their everyday routines to help them meet their basic nutritional needs," said Mike Greene, svp, government relations for the Council of Responsible Nutrition (CRN), in a statement.

"Studies show that low-income Americans are more likely to have insufficient and nutritionally inadequate diets," he added. "Allowing SNAP recipients to purchase a multivitamin with program benefits empowers them with an additional choice for themselves and their families, and makes achieving proper nutrition a right, not a luxury.”

The CRN has not formally supported the WIC bill, but is exploring the possibility, according to Greene.

"People should support both bills," said Dan Fabricant, president and CEO of the Natural Products Association.

(Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 9/27/17)