(AP) WASHINGTON – Congress is fighting to keep pizza and french fries on school lunch lines, picking apart an Obama administration proposal to make school lunches healthier.
A spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards proposed by the Agriculture Department earlier this year, forcing USDA to pull back an attempt to limit potatoes on the lunch line, delaying limits on sodium and delaying a requirement to boost whole grains.
The spending bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The department’s proposed guidelines would have attempted to prevent that.
The changes had been requested by food companies that produce frozen pizzas, the salt industry and potato growers. Some conservatives in Congress have called the push for healthier foods an overreach, saying the government shouldn’t be telling children what to eat.
In a bill summary released Monday, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee said the changes would “prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations and … provide greater flexibility for local school districts to improve the nutritional quality of meals.”
See the President realizes that obesity is driving up public costs for Medicare, and everything else. Indeed, it is currently the #1 health threat in the U.S. However, many Republican donors make a good living selling crap to kids and don’t want this gravy train to end. Hence Republicans now claim that “overregulation” is the problem and that it makes perfect sense to consider “pizza sauce” a vegetable, and therefore the core of a healthy diet.