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Trump’s USDA Rolls Back School Lunch Guidelines Championed by Michelle Obama

(COMMON DREAMS) Lauren McCauley, May 2, 2017 — In one of his first orders of business, President Donald Trump’s newly confirmed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue took steps to weaken school lunch standards championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

In an interim final rule, announced by Perdue while he visited an elementary school in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Leesburg, Virginia on Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is rolling back nutrition rules that were part of Obama’s Let’s Move campaign that was abhorred by food industry groups.

Specifically, Perdue is postponing a regulation that would have required schools to lower the sodium content in lunches. The order has also eliminated requirements that schools serve 100 percent whole-grain rich products, and another that forbade sugary, flavored, one percent milk.

As The Hill explains: “Sodium levels in school lunches now must average less than 1,230 milligrams in elementary schools; 1,360 mg in middle schools; and 1,420 mg in high school. Before Perdue’s rule, schools were expected to reduce sodium even further to average less than 935 milligrams in elementary schools, 1035 milligrams in middle school lunches, and 1,080 in high school lunches by the week by July 1, 2017.  Further reductions were set to take effect by July 1, 2022.”

Perdue said the changes would make school lunches “more appealing to students,” but parents protesting outside Catoctin Elementary School held signs that read “Children deserve better.”

Source: Trump’s USDA Rolls Back School Lunch Guidelines Championed by Michelle Obama | Common Dreams