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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

New GAO Reports – DOD Joint Bases, Federal Real Property, Fish Stock Assessments

  • DOD JOINT BASES: Implementation Challenges Demonstrate Need to Reevaluate the Program, GAO-14-577: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014: “Joint base officials reported varying progress in consolidating installation-support functions, and challenges resulting from consolidation efforts that created inefficiencies and inequities. Overall, the joint bases reported partially consolidating 80 percent of their installation-support functions, but the extent of consolidation varied across the bases and among the various functions. None of the joint bases have reported consolidating all functions. However, all 11 joint bases reported consolidating some portion of eight functions, such as custodial services and installation safety. The least consolidated functions were reported to be military service-specific or mission-specific, such as small-arms range management and port services. Also, joint base officials reported several challenges resulting from consolidation, such as multiple inspections and employees being potentially disadvantaged in competing for promotion opportunities due to military service-specific personnel policies. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and military service officials have not evaluated which functions are still suitable for consolidation or taken policy actions to address any challenges resulting from consolidation. Without an evaluation of the suitability of installation-support functions for consolidation and without actions to address any negative consequences that emerged from consolidation, the Department of Defense (DOD) may continue to experience challenges in its efforts to consolidate these functions.”
  • FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY: DHS and GSA Need to Strengthen the Management of DHS Headquarters Consolidation, GAO-14-864T: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014.
  • FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY: DHS and GSA Need to Strengthen the Management of DHS Headquarters Consolidation, GAO-14-648: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014.
  • FISH STOCK ASSESSMENTS: Prioritization and Funding, GAO-14-794R: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014.

The Rise of Data Poverty in America

Daniel Castro | September 10, 2014 “Data-driven innovations offer enormous opportunities to advance important societal goals. However, to take advantage of these opportunities, individuals must have access to high-quality data about themselves and their communities. If certain groups routinely do not have data collected about them, their problems may be overlooked and their communities heldContinue Reading

Consumer Expenditures – 2013

“Average expenditures per consumer unit (1) in 2013 were $51,100, little changed from 2012 levels, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In 2013 spending decreased 0.7 percent during the same period that the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) increased 1.5 percent. In 2012 spending had increased 3.5 percent, outpacing the increase in prices. In 2013 average income perContinue Reading

CDC report finds sodium consumption high among U.S. children

“About 9 in 10 US children eat more sodium than recommended. Most sodium is in the form of salt, as a part of processed foods. A high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure. About 1 in 6 children ages 8-17 years has raised blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factorContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Crop Insurance, Defense Infrastructure, DOD Education Benefits, Medicaid, Contractor Controls, DoD Special Operations

CROP INSURANCE: Considerations in Reducing Federal Premium Subsidies, GAO-14-700: Published: Aug 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2014. DEFENSE INFRASTRUCTURE: DOD Needs to Improve Its Efforts to Identify Unutilized and Underutilized Facilities, GAO-14-538: Published: Sep 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2014. DOD EDUCATION BENEFITS: Action Is Needed to Ensure Evaluations of Postsecondary Schools Are Useful, GAO-14-855: Published: Sep 8, 2014. Publicly Released:Continue Reading

Smog in India Damaged Enough Crops to Feed 94 Million, Study Says

Yale e360 digest: “Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, damaged 6.7 million tons of Indian crops worth an estimated $1.3 billion in a single year, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters. That’s enough wheat, rice and other staple crops to feed 94 million people — roughly one-third of the country’s impoverished population. Arising from aContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Education of homeless students, World Trade Center Health Program, SNAP

EDUCATION OF HOMELESS STUDENTS: Improved Program Oversight Needed, GAO-14-465: Published: Jul 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 2014. WORLD TRADE CENTER HEALTH PROGRAM: Approach Used to Add Cancers to List of Covered Conditions Was Reasonable, but Could Be Improved, GAO-14-606: Published: Jul 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 2014. SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Enhanced Detection Tools and Reporting Could Improve Efforts toContinue Reading

Charity says military use of food pantries has been rising for years

Stars and Stripes: “The number of military families who struggle to put food on the table has been growing in the years since the Great Recession, the nation’s largest network of soup kitchens and food pantries said [August 19, 2014] that increase convinced the Feeding America charity to study servicemembers who use the food assistanceContinue Reading

China’s Dirty Pollution Secret: The Boom Poisoned Its Soil and Crops

He Guangwei is a staff writer and investigative reporter with The Times Weekly, a national Chinese newspaper based in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Via Yale environment 360: “There are now signs that gravity of the soil pollution problem is belatedly forcing the Chinese government to begin to deal with a problem that has accumulated over many decades, and to reconsiderContinue Reading

Parents Projected to Spend $245,340 to Raise a Child Born in 2013

News release: “Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report, Expenditures on Children by Families, also known as the Cost of Raising a Child. The report shows that a middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 ($304,480 adjusted for projected inflation*) for food, housing, childcare andContinue Reading

Research Finally Revealed – Chemical Ingredient in Colgate Total Linked to Cancer

Bloomberg – “The chemical triclosan has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals. Regulators are reviewing whether it’s safe to put in soap, cutting boards and toys. Consumer companies are phasing it out. Minnesota voted in May to ban it in many products. At the same time, millions of Americans are putting it in their mouths everyContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Contractor Performance, School Meal Programs

CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE: Actions Taken to Improve Reporting of Past Performance Information, GAO-14-707: Published: Aug 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 7, 2014: “ SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAMS: Implications of Adjusting Income Eligibility Thresholds and Reimbursement Rates by Geographic Differences, GAO-14-557: Published: Jul 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 7, 2014.