National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

11:21 a.m. Checking out the web this morning, one of the top Google news items for fresh produce/fruits and vegetables was a story about the eating habits pregnant mom influencing their baby’s disposition toward vegetables.

From the story,

 "The research clearly shows that if mothers eat a lot of fruit during lactation and pregnancy, then their child will be much more open to eating fruit during weaning. The same goes with vegetables," Researcher Dr. Julie Mennella from the Monell Center in Philadelphia says.


Tk: it reminds me of the research about classical music’s effect on babies. Make it Bach and broccoli for mom and baby and you can’t go wrong.

11: 49 a.m. Sequestration is a potentially explosive issue for our elected leaders, particularly if the contrived drama results in real human suffering. At this point, that is a more than real possibility.

For one example, take the case of the Women Infants and Children special supplemental nutrition program. Information from the administration indicates that with a full year continuing resolution, combined with sequestration, will result in a budget authority of about $6.3 billion.

That funding – and whatever other meager resources the agency has - will allow the WIC program to support 8.6 million participants, 300,000 less than last year. Reductions in participants would total 600,000 if budget reductions are pressed into the last two quarters of the fiscal year.

But it gets worse. Even before sequestration occurs, states may begin to implement cost-cutting strategies that could reduce clinic hours, close clinics and perhaps even cause waiting lists.

If money runs short, WIC agencies would implement a priority list for potential participants. The first to lose benefits would be non-breastfeeding postpartum women and individuals certified solely due to homelessness or migrancy. As it happens, African-American women have the lowest breastfeeding rates, and so they are likely to represent a significant proportion of these women. Reduced funding to states - $75 million less than fiscal year 2012 – could result in up to 1,600 state and local jobs lost.

Tk: Can't these cuts be avoided? The salary of each member of Congress should also be subject to automatic cuts if sequestration occurs.

12: 15 p.m. Australian authorities continue to chide big retailers over their strong arm tactics with suppliers  regarding own label products.

 From a Reuters story:

The Commission will look into whether suppliers faced persistent demands for additional payments and whether penalties were imposed by supermarkets. It will also examine whether supermarkets made threats to remove products from supermarket shelves, failed to pay prices agreed with suppliers, and whether they favored their own-brands.

Sims noted that suppliers were reluctant to speak to the Commission for fear of the consequences.

Tk: The code of silence is difficult to break, and thus the writing is already on the wall for this fishing expedition. It likely won’t get any fish.