January 20, 2020

Food Policy Issues; Farm Bill; and, the Ag Economy

Food Policy Issues

Tarini Parti reported yesterday at Politico that, “First lady Michelle Obama unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would ban marketing junk food and sodas in schools — an unusually aggressive position for the administration that could draw the ire of school districts, food companies and conservatives” [transcript of remarks by Mrs. Obama here, and additional background here].

“Schools would no longer be able to house vending machines that sport images of their flagship sodas, as part of the updated school wellness policy crafted by the Department of Agriculture. They would be prevented from having posters that promote unhealthy food and drinks or using cups in cafeterias that market high-calorie beverages, among other forms of promotion,” the Politico article said.

Ms. Parti added that, “The proposal would require marketing of all food and drinks to fall in line with the same healthier standards that are expected to be required of foods sold during the 2014-15 school year. Both sets of measures, which go beyond the new school lunch and breakfast requirements, stem from the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

“Already, about 90 percent of school districts are meeting the updated school lunch standards, the first lady touted at the event, where she was introduced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack along with a parent and a 14-year-old boy who briefly talked about the benefits of Let’s Move!.”