by Marion Nestle
Dec 17 2015
House spending deal: food issues summarized
Thanks to Helena Bottemiller Evich of Politico Pro for doing the homework on food issues covered by the omnibus spending deal just agreed to by the House. Here’s my quick summary of her summary.
- GMO labels: the effort to preempt local and state GMO labeling initiatives failed as a result of the efforts of 30 representatives who opposed the measure.
- Country of origin labels repealed: the meat industry scores a win in the House vote to repeal the measure.
- Dietary guidelines: I discussed this one in yesterday’s post. The House wants to block their release on the grounds that they are not sufficiently scientific (translation: the meat industry doesn’t like advice to eat less meat).
- The Clean Water Act: it survives.
- GMO salmon: it will have to be labeled.
- Food safety funding: up more than $132 million to $2.72 billion in discretionary funding. This is a big win for the FDA. It also proposes $1 billion for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, also above the president’s request.
- Trans fat ban”: delayed until FDA’s formal rules go into effect in June 2018.
- School lunch flexibility: Riders allow schools to ignore whole grain requirements and block sodium restrictions pending further research.
- Chinese chicken out of schools: Prohibits purchasing chicken that was processed in China for school meals or other federal nutrition programs.
- More kitchen equipment: Schools get another $30 million for school equipment grants.
- Horse slaughter: Banned.
Caveat: this is the House deal only. The House has to vote on the actual bill, then the Senate. Then the two bills need to be reconciled and the President needs to sign. Until then, everything is up for grabs.