USDA Refuses to Adopt Commercial Alert Junk Food Petition
Commercial Alert is a bit upset the U.S. Department of Agriculture, yesterday, rejected a petition (pdf) asking the government group to enforce its own rules which prohibit public schools from selling "foods of minimal nutritional value," otherwise known as junk food. The petition asked for, among other things, monthly certification by schools that they are abiding by USDA guidelines, annual audits by state agencies to insure guidelines are being followed, adherence to guidelines as a critical area of review for school food authorities, adherence to guidelines an integral part of Food and Nutrition Service review of state agencies and USDA management control over compliance with guidelines.
Commercial Alert Executive Director Gary Ruskin isn't pleased. "It is outrageous that the USDA is refusing to enforce its own rules against selling junk food in public schools. They have turned their back on American children, who are suffering from an epidemic of obesity." While no one is forcefully placing the mouths of children on the dispensing area of vending machines, temptation is hard to resist.