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House Education and Labor Committee Approves Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

Statement of CSPI Director of Nutrition Policy Margo G. Wootan

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest congratulates Chairman George Miller and strongly supports his Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act (H.R. 5504), which passed out of the House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee today.

This bill includes a landmark provision to get soda and junk food out of school vending machines, which is supported not only by parents, health groups, and the Administration, but also by leading food and beverage companies. The bill also would provide resources and training to improve the nutritional quality of school lunches, expand nutrition education for children, and strengthen school nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.

The bill’s passage will hopefully give a nudge to the Senate to pass its child nutrition bill, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S. 3307). That bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Agriculture Committee in March, but has yet to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. To be sure, there’s a lot on the Senate’s plate. But unlike a lot of truly contentious issues, passing of child nutrition bill would only require about a day of Senate floor time, and is bipartisan.

The clock is ticking. Congress has less than three weeks left until they go home for summer recess and then, kids go back to school. Both the House of Representatives and Senate need to make our children’s health their next priority and vote on child nutrition as soon as possible.

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).