Should Food Stamps Pay for Junk Food?

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Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Alan Bjerga discusses food stamp restrictions with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg)

Calorie foods.

The agriculture department oversees this.

We are joined from washington with someone who follows the usda for us.

What are the restrictions under what you can buy with food stamps now, and what would they like to see changed?

Right now, it is limited to basically alcohol and tobacco and hot, prepared foods, which is pretty simple to enforce from the usda standpoint.

What many nutritionists would like to see is stricter standards that would keep sodas and sugary foods from being included in the program, and there are some who believe this would make a program more efficient in terms of serving people with the best nutrition for the buck.

What is the position of the usda?

Secretary tom millsap was telling the last month he does not really want to get into a debate -- secretary vilsack said he does not really want to get into a debate.

Give people an incentive into buying people more healthy foods as opposed to taking unhealthy food away.

Part of the farm bill that you and i have talked about a lot, is this part of the farm bill, and if not, why not?

This is certainly people -- something people talk about.

Pilot programs and restrictions, but nobody wants to get involved in that because the political coalitions are there.

You have antihunger activists and nutritionists who are normally on the same side disagreeing with this, because antihunger activists do not want this to be a reason to cut the program.

Some people who feel this is how you will deal with obesity in this country, it is a helpful tool to them, but they do not know how it will break down.

How emotional do people get over this issue?

I will say that since our story came out online and on the bloomberg terminal, i have been getting e-mail from people all over the country.

Why are you continuing to pick on four people?

The things that are being restricted should be restricted further, and other people say, i get mad when i go to the grocery store and i see people buying soda with the food stamp money.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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