(Aug. 14) In this case, the first step may be the easiest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture did the right thing by adding fruits and vegetables in the place of some dairy, juice and eggs in the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition food packages. This puts the program more in line with USDA’s 2005 dietary guidelines and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

But now comes the 90-day comment period in which the dairy industry will surely be as loud as ever.

The produce industry needs to counter that, as the proposal is no sure thing.

Douglas Greenway, executive director of the National WIC Association, said he expects dairy, egg and juice producers to object to their reduced role, and the increased role of produce, which would increase intake of iron, fiber and potassium while reducing fat, cholesterol and sodium.

It already appears that produce industry groups, such as the Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association and Produce for Better Health Foundation, plan a unified front during the comment period, and no doubt, the program will be heavily discussed at the upcoming United Public Policy Conference, Sept. 12-15 in Washington, D.C.

Individuals need to make their voices heard, as well. The louder the produce industry outcry, the more strength USDA will have to stand up to less-nutritious food interests.

Comment on the proposal at www.regulations.gov.