Republicans Demand Investigation of New School Lunch Standards

By:  Brian Koenig
11/01/2012
       
Republicans Demand Investigation of New School Lunch Standards

Protesting the Obama administration’s “nanny-state” approach to curbing U.S. obesity, House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) is demanding a government investigation of the contentious new school lunch standards implemented this fall. The rules promote healthy foods while establishing limits on calorie intake for school lunches as a component of the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act — the first major overhaul of school lunches in 15 years — which authorizes funding and enacts policy for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) core child nutrition programs.

Protesting the Obama administration’s “nanny-state” approach to curbing U.S. obesity, House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) is demanding a government investigation of the contentious new school lunch standards implemented this fall. The rules promote healthy foods while establishing limits on calorie intake for school lunches as a component of the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act — the first major overhaul of school lunches in 15 years — which authorizes funding and enacts policy for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) core child nutrition programs.

"State and local officials, parents and students have raised concerns about a number of these changes," Kline wrote Wednesday to the federal government’s Government Accountability Office (GAO), "specifically the adequacy of the calorie maximum, the cost of the new requirements, and increased food waste in school cafeterias."

The letter was co-signed by Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.). Specifically, the lawmakers requested that the GAO investigate and report back on a number of concerns, including the cost of the new standards and whether they have encouraged students to abandon school lunch programs.

The Obama administration has met heated opposition from several Republican House members, who blasted the rules as testimony of the president’s “nanny-state” efforts to curb U.S. obesity. In fact, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, unveiled legislation to repeal the rules in September.

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