My lecture on childhood nutrition and food politics at the University of Georgia has been cancelled: Coronovirus.
Food Chemical News (FCN) reports today that the USDA has sent its final rules on nutrition standards for school lunches and breakfasts to the Office of Management and Budget for approval. The final content of what got submitted is not known.
Several of the USDA’s proposals for implementing these suggestions have elicited more than the usual level of fuss. The most controversial:
Does the Senate think this can pass the laugh test?
Historical note: Remember when the Reagan administration proposed to allow ketchup to count as a vegetable in school meals:
An additional proposed change in crediting policy would allow vegetable and fruit concentrates to be credited on a single-strength reconstituted basis rather than on the basis of the actual volume as served.
For example, one tablespoon of tomato paste could be credited as 1/4 cup single-strength tomato juice. Previously, it was only credited as 1 tablespoon, the volume as served (Federal Register 9-4-81).
The press had a field day. The ensuing bipartisan hilarity and what Nutrition Action (November 1981) called a “maelstorm of criticism from Congress, the press, and the public alike” induced the USDA to rescind the rules one month later.
Times have changed. Senators used to have the health of American school children in mind. Now, they undermine efforts by USDA to improve meals for kids.
The Senate’s action has nothing to do with public health and everything to do with political posturing and caving in to lobbyists.
The Senate should reconsider its actions. The USDA should not back down on this one.
Additions, November 17: background documents and additional links