It was a real pleasure to have CA Assemblymember Jerry Hill (who represents the 19th district) join us for lunch at the NANP conference. We had met him and invited him to join us during the recent CA lobby days. We are so pleased he joined us and we thoroughly enjoyed his wonderful presentation.
Assemblymember Hill started off by saying “You represent everything that is good” and endorsed the conference theme of Holistic Nutrition Through the Ages, saying “what you are doing is so important”.
Assemblymember Hill then went on to mention a number of CA nutrition/legislative matters that are near and dear to the hearts of our members, and are encouraging for the health of all Californians:
(1) On May 3, Gov. Jerry Brown drafted a “Let’s Get Healthy California Task Force” to develop a 10-year plan to improve Californians’ health and reduce health-care costs.
Preventable and chronic health conditions are detrimental to every Californian’s quality of life, cause disproportionate social and economic burdens, and result in California spending 80% of the state’s total healthcare dollars on just 20% of the population.
The NANP and our members can be a big part of this, distributing wellness and nutritional information and helping people make informed decisions about their own health.
(2) The labeling of GMOs was added to the CA ballot on May 2
In victory rallies across state today, supporters celebrated as the California Right to Know campaign filed 971,126 signatures for the state’s first-ever ballot initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. The huge signature haul, gathered in a 10-week period, is nearly double the 555,236 signatures the campaign needs to qualify for the November ballot.
If passed this November, Californians will join citizens of over 40 countries including all of Europe, Japan and even China who have the right to know whether they are eating genetically engineered food.
You can read why we need this GMO labeling to ensure the safety of food for California families and children and that even chickens refuse GM corn (or mielies as its called in South Africa)
(3) California legislators enacted a tax credit for farmers who donate fruits and vegetables to food banks. Here is information on AB152 prior to the bill being passed: http://www.cafoodbanks.org/docs/AB%20152%20Full%20Factsheet.pdf
Every dollar in credit leverages approximately 10-20 pounds of fresh healthy food for low-income Californians. California growers want to do their part to help low-income Californians eat more fresh healthy food. California would be following the lead of several other states, including Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Oregon that offer tax incentives to encourage fresh produce donations from growers to emergency food providers.
You can read this great post by Amy Winterfeld: what lawmakers in other states are doing to encourage better eating and support local economies.
Assemblymember Hill also shared information about California Healthy Food Financing Initiative and school lunches and this, together with the award and menu will be covered in part 2.[Note: I say “we” on behalf of NANP and the legislative committee, which I chair]