House, Senate Defense Bills Include ASA-Backed Nutrition Provisions

Jul 09, 2020

Both the House and Senate Armed Services committees have recently passed their 2021 National Defense Authorization Act bills. Each include language supported by ASA that would provide for public comment when issuing food ingredient prohibitions. This issue stems from a 2017 notice that abruptly prohibited several commonly used ingredients, including soy protein products, from military dining.

The revocation stunned the food industry and would have required reformulations within a matter of weeks. ASA is part of a coalition working since 2017 to require that the Department of Defense (DOD) institute a public comment period before making food ingredient prohibitions.

In the Senate bill, the Committee adopted an amendment from Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) to require a public comment period. The House included a similar, but compromise amendment offered by Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ). The House language will allow DOD to waive the comment period in an emergency.

After passage by both chambers, the bill will go to conference, where the differences will be worked out.