Congress Discusses Food Stamp Restrictions Based On USDA Report

Congress Discusses Food Stamp Restrictions Based On USDA Report
The report found 20 percent of food stamp purchases were on unhealthy snacks — not too different from purchases in households without food stamps.

Should shoppers be able to use food stamp dollars to buy soft drinks and candy?

The debate started after a USDA report found 20 percent of food stamps are spent on sweetened beverages, desserts, salty snacks, candy and sugar. 

Some members of a House Agriculture Committee hearing said restrictions on these purchases would help push people to buy healthier foods. 

But others said policing food stamp purchases is unfair and infringes on people's personal freedoms. The same USDA report found households that don't use food stamps purchase the same snacks at generally similar rates.  

"Food surveillance violates the basic principles of this great country. ... You can't deny them their freedoms to be able to make choices without violating their pursuit of happiness," Rep. David Scott said.

Do you think Congress should restrict food stamp recipients from purchasing these products? Tell us in the comments below.