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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

October 31, 2012 - 1:13 pm

Two GOP congressmen backed up their bill to counter healthy-food mandates at schools by joining Iowa kids today to eat some of their new disgusting cafeteria food.

Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) hosted Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), the original co-sponsor of his No Hungry Kids Act, at Storm Lake Elementary School today for some fantastic fare mandated by USDA.

King said he got a firsthand account of how kids and parents are “coping” with the standards.

“I saw firsthand how President Obama, his wife, and his administration’s rationing of food to students is completely out of hand. This nanny state has gone overboard in determining what children eat — kids should be able to eat all of the healthy, nutritious school food they want,” King said.

“The ‘No Hungry Kids Act’ puts the power back in the hands of parents and directs the USDA to reevaluate the standards and prohibits the USDA from putting all kids on a diet just because some are overweight.”

His bill would repeal the USDA rule that went into effect Jan. 26 requiring most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in meals; and cut calories.

It also amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to prohibit the secretary of Agriculture’s minimum nutritional requirements for school lunches from being construed as establishing a calorie maximum for individual school lunches or prohibiting a child from eating a lunch provided by the child’s parent or legal guardian.

“This latest power grab from USDA bureaucrats in the form of menu mandates is a step in the wrong direction,” Huelskamp said. “Instead of increasing local control to fit the needs and diversity of each school district, this mandate imposes yet another one-size-fits-all dictate for the entire nation.”

The bill now has 12 co-sponsors and has been referred to committee.

House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) today to investigate the controversial school menu rules.

“State and local officials, parents and students have raised concerns about a number of these changes, specifically the adequacy of the calorie maximum, the cost of the new requirements, and increased food waste in school cafeterias,” Kline wrote. Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) signed on to the request.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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