House Republicans to Try to Roll Back Progress on School Meals
Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan
May 19, 2014
Congress should be accelerating the excellent progress that school systems are making toward implementing the U.S. Department of Agriculture's nutrition standards. But instead, House Republicans are playing politics with what's on school lunch trays and children's health. I miss the days when school nutrition used to be a bipartisan issue, as it was for decades after the school lunch program was established under President Truman.
By allowing school districts to opt out of school nutrition standards, House Republicans are opening up the floodgates to let all the old junk food back into schools, while crowding out the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that have been gaining ground in the program.
These same politicians are playing politics with the WIC program. USDA, based on recommendations from a panel of nutrition experts, has carefully crafted that program to meet the unique nutrition needs of women, infants, and children. Yet politicians are using their perch on the Appropriations Committee to put the interests of the potato industry over the interests of women and kids. It's shameful.