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USDA/FNS RIN: 0584-AD77 Publication ID: 2012 
Title: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Packages 
Abstract: This final rule will affirm and address comments from stakeholders on an interim final rule that went into effect October 1, 2009, governing WIC food packages to align them more closely with updated nutrition science. 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 246   
Legal Authority: 42 USC 1786   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: As the population served by WIC has grown and become more diverse over the past 20 years, the nutritional risks faced by participants have changed, and though nutrition science has advanced, the WIC supplemental food packages remained largely unchanged until FY 2010. This rule is needed to respond to comments and experience, and to implement recommended changes to the WIC food packages based on the current nutritional needs of WIC participants and advances in nutrition science.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, enacted on June 30, 2004, requires the Department to issue a final rule within 18 months of receiving the Institute of Medicine's report on revisions to the WIC food packages. This report was published and released to the public on April 27, 2005.

Alternatives: FNS developed a regulatory impact analysis that addressed a variety of alternatives that were considered in the interim final rulemaking. The regulatory impact analysis was published as an appendix to the interim rule.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The regulatory impact analysis for this rule provided a reasonable estimate of the anticipated effects of the rule. This analysis estimated that the provisions of the rule would have a minimal impact on the costs of overall operations of the WIC Program over 5 years. The regulatory impact analysis was published as an appendix to the interim rule.

Risks: This rule applies to WIC State agencies with respect to their selection of foods to be included on their food lists. As a result, vendors will be indirectly affected and the food industry will realize increased sales of some foods and decreases in other foods, with an overall neutral effect on sales nationally. The rule may have an indirect economic affect on certain small businesses because they may have to carry a larger variety of certain foods to be eligible for authorization as a WIC vendor. With the high degree of State flexibility allowable under this final rule, small vendors will be impacted differently in each State depending upon how that State chooses to meet the new requirements. It is, therefore, not feasible to accurately estimate the rule's impact on small vendors. Since neither FNS nor the State agencies regulate food producers under the WIC Program, it is not known how many small entities within that industry may be indirectly affected by the rule. FNS has, however, modified the new food provision in an effort to mitigate the impact on small entities. This rule adds new food items, such as fruits and vegetables and whole grain breads, which may require some WIC vendors, particularly smaller stores, to expand the types and quantities of food items stocked in order to maintain their WIC authorization. In addition, vendors also have to make available more than one food type from each WIC food category, except for the categories of peanut butter and eggs, which may be a change for some vendors. To mitigate the impact of the fruit and vegetable requirement, the rule allows canned, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables to be substituted for fresh produce. Opportunities for training on and discussion of the revised WIC food packages will be offered to State agencies and other entities as necessary.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  08/07/2006  71 FR 44784   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/06/2006    
Interim Final Rule  12/06/2007  72 FR 68966   
Interim Final Rule Effective  02/04/2008    
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  02/01/2010    
Final Action  04/00/2013 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
James F Herbert
Regulatory Review Specialist
Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
3101 Park Center Drive,
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone:703 305-2572