HB 2686: Healthy Food and Economy Task Force

TMA Testimony

House Agriculture and Livestock
House Bill 2686 by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez
April 10

The Texas Medical Association (TMA), representing 47,000 physicians and medical students, thanks Rep. Eddie Rodriguez for his work on House Bill 2686. The bill creates a task force to study the state’s food economy and access to healthy food. The issues the task force would examine include the role of health care and public health relating to food, agriculture, environment, and economics. TMA supports this task force and encourages adding members who have experience in health care and public health. 

The state’s agricultural and economic policies intersect with public health. Access to healthy food and consuming nutritious food are important factors in maintaining the health of our population and preventing chronic disease, including diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks. Access to healthy food should mean access to safe food. Food safety should play a critical role in policy development as an essential link between food and health. As our work to find ways to promote the consumption of fresh and minimally processed foods increases, we also want to promote safe food-handling practices. 

A task force focusing on Texas’ food economy is an important step in addressing our state’s health. We hope you consider adding public health expertise to the task force membership as a bridge between food production and the health of the consumer. We suggest making these two additions to the task force membership:

  • A physician with experience in public health, appointed by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and
  • A registered dietitian, appointed by DSHS.

TMA thanks Representative Rodriguez for his leadership in developing healthy food policy. We look forward to working with Representative Rodriquez and members of the committee on these important issues. 

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