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Dennis Kucinich
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Friday 18 November 2011
“Rural Development Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations act that prevents the Department of Agriculture from implementing new school lunch standards.”

Kucinich: Special Interests Put Ahead of Children’s Health

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Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a longtime advocate of children’s nutrition, today released the following statement after language was inserted into the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture, Rural Development Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations act that prevents the Department of Agriculture from implementing new school lunch standards.

“I strongly support a number of provisions in H.R. 2112, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, such as the vital funding for low-income food assistance programs. I must voice my outrage at language included in this legislation which blatantly ignores and imperils the health of this country’s school children.

“Just days ago, language was inserted into H.R. 2112 which prevents the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing important new school lunch standards that are scheduled to go into effect next year.  The language also allows pizza, if it has at least two tablespoons of tomato paste, to be defined as a vegetable.   

“Childhood obesity is a disease affecting 17% children throughout the country. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years and in 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Nationally subsidized meals at schools have a responsibility to feed our children healthy and nutritious food. The USDA has developed new school nutrition standards and is ready to implement them. Instead, we are allowing these industries to make and keep our children sick, to put them at risk for serious cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis and several types of cancer.

“The needs of special interest groups are being put ahead of the health needs of children across the country. By including these provisions, we are allowing the salt, potato growers and frozen food industries to continue feeding the childhood obesity epidemic. According to the Institute of Medicine, a typical high school lunch contains around 1,600 milligrams of sodium; this is more than half of the daily recommended amount.

“One of the largest barriers that school nutrition programs face is cost. This is why I have authored a bill that would eliminate the tax deductibility of advertising and marketing of fast food and junk food that targets children. Despite the fact that research shows that marketing and advertising is a primary factor in increasing obesity rates in children, the tax code allows companies to deduct their advertising and marketing costs from tax returns. The government essentially subsidizes childhood obesity. My legislation has the potential to raise billions of dollars to pay for student nutrition programs.”



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ABOUT Dennis Kucinich

Having been elected to Cleveland's City Council at age 23, Dennis J. Kucinich was well-known to Cleveland residents when they chose him as their mayor in 1977 at the age of 31. At the time, Kucinich was the youngest person ever elected to lead a major American city. Since being elected to Congress in 1996, Kucinich has been a tireless advocate for worker rights, civil rights and human rights.
 

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9 comments on "Kucinich: Special Interests Put Ahead of Children’s Health"

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george r

November 19, 2011 9:57pm

Have no fear. The end is near. Be calm deer. I am here. You are here. We are here. How many lobbyist do children have? I think they should be allowed to vote. The ones I talk to are more intelligent than the people I see and hear on TV. I remember wanting to take my children to good healthy places to eat breakfast. In 1980 it was my daughter who wanted to eat at McDonalds. In 1996 my son and his friends wanted to eat at Wendys, Jack in the Box, Burger King and McDonalds. Even though I tried to get my children well fed I could not overcome the brainwashing of these children. The above companies message to children made them dissatisfied to eat good food. Their message overpowered mine. My grandson thinks its cool to smoke pot. I tell him that the world is not what he thinks. The music and videos of pot smokers and drinkers is more important than what parents want. I tell him that movie stars lives are not affected by smoking pot. They make lots of money. Rich kids are not affected. People who own businesses are not affected. People with money are immune. On the other hand if your parents are not rich, famous or have a business you can work for then your chances of finding work are slim if you get caught. Again the movies, music and advertizing overcome the power of parents and the authorities. The power of radio and TV advertizing is destroying education, respect for community and reality for our society. How many people actually like commercials on TV or the radio? How much harm to society have these commercials caused? We know that commercials influence a lot of girls to become anoerexic or bulimic. We know that many children are obese in America.About time Congress acts on behalf of society. The parents need help from the bad conditioning of TV and radio commercials. More powerful messages than parents, family , schools, communities and law enforcement can cope with.

Jerry Cargill

November 19, 2011 5:07pm

"So?! They're not my kids!" -Mr. Potter

Robert Paul Sin...

November 18, 2011 6:13pm

It IS possible, and it is necessary, to stop Republicans from destroying our country! Republicans will claim that this is their country, too, but many puppeteers (like the Koch brothers) are not interested in the 99% (that's us) having what we need: Clean air, clean water, education, affordable health care, et cetera. Unpatriotic millionaires would rather be the only ones enjoying those things. Patriotic millionaires want to pay their fair share of taxes so that our nation can have smooth public roads, safe schools and bridges, decent food and quality education. Patriotic millionaires are stepping forward with that message.

Matthew Jacobs

November 18, 2011 10:37pm

It IS possible, and it is necessary, to stop Republicans from destroying our country! Is it possible ...Yeh well maybe .....Likely no
.
Robert this is Earth calling, Earth Calling Robert..... come in Robert
The world is not as Black and White as you think

Factkneader

November 20, 2011 10:02pm

Maybe not quite Black and White, but with a little change you get
RepuBLACans, which is pretty close!

Joe Turner

November 18, 2011 2:49pm

It is always good to have a person like Dennis to remind of the rich values we have abandoned and the democracy that we have lost.

Douglas Hunt

November 18, 2011 1:39pm

I whole heartedly agree with the post above. We have to stop these republicans, from destroying our country, if at all possible.

Diane Ribbentrop

November 18, 2011 12:38pm

GOP Kochs Fox Rush Hannity Beck put special interests ahead of ALL except More corp cuts More deregulation Same tired old fat cat policies that failed miserably last 30 yrs 1980-2008 crash TARP scam
GOP has NO new ideas NO solutions Just retreads of old old GOP mistakes .. lies- greed-