The exclusion — referring to all non-sweet potatoes — has been in place since 2009, but the USDA announced the final rule on Feb. 28.
Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon, however, said a new scientific review of the WIC food packages will begin soon.
A statement from the National Potato Council said the group is disappointed with the agency’s decision but will continue to work for approval in the WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers.
The final rule also indicates that the fruit and vegetable voucher for children would be raised from $6 to $8 per month. Vouchers for women remain at $10 each month.
Other changes allow purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables instead of jars of baby food for older infants.
Those changes will help increase fruit and vegetable consumption, said Tom Stenzel, president of the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C. Another provision allows WIC mothers to add their own money to fruit and vegetable purchses when the price goes over the amount of the voucher.
“Our only disappointment is that we continue to believe that WIC vouchers should include all fresh fruits and vegetables, without added fats, sugar or sodium, including fresh white potatoes,” Stenzel said in a statement.