USDA Turns Its Back On Junk Food In Schools

Considering the contradictory and conflicting positions it has taken on its food pyramid, I was not at all surprised to learn the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rejected a petition from Commercial Alert that would've forced the agency to abide by its own rules that prohibit the lunchtime sale of foods of minimal nutritional value in school cafeterias.

Although the rules were formulated to protect our children's health, USDA's pattern of enforcement has been virtually non-existent, according to Commercial Alert. The FDA's response to the advocacy group's concerns: At this time, we do not intend to undertake the activities or measures recommended in your petition. (Download the USDA's full response, brief as it was, in the link below.)

(The decision came days after the Justice Department reduced the penalty it sought against the tobacco industry by more than 90 percent to $10 billion.)

Besides, what's the use of more regulations when the USDA admitted in a report earlier this spring they just didn't know which schools were complying with federal rules...

The best thing you could do for your child -- because they don't have the resolve to do this on their own -- is to prepare healthy alternatives to junk food you can use at a moment's notice. For some quick tips on how to do just that, I urge you to read Colleen Huber's excellent article that includes a solid list of healthy-for-you foods you can prepare to blunt such temptations.

Commercial Alert.org June 14, 2005 Free Full Text Articles

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