January 27th, 2012

The declared aim of a new initiative by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve the nutritional value of school meals is already undermined by a recent decision by US Congress that has classified pizza as a vegetable.

Changes to regulations qualifying allocation of federal funding to school meals, including serving only low-fat milk and minimum servings of fruit and vegetables, have been undermined by corporate lobbying of Congress. After a multi-million dollar campaign by corporations with a vested interest in securing funding for such unhealthy options as pizza and chips, Congress modified the USDA proposals.

Now both chips and pizza are classified as ‘healthy vegetables’ by regulation. Among those companies responsible for the successful lobby against the new regulations are industrial pizza makers, ConAgra Foods and chip manufacturers, McCain.

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