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Parallel bills would tighten regulations on foods sold in schools

The Child Nutrition Act of 1966 is horribly outdated. Soda pop, fries and cookies are allowable fare — and big sellers — in American schools, so Rep. Lynn Woolsey, a California Democrat, introduced the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act in the House in March.

A Senate version of the bill also is making its way through the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. The bill, introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, in April, would give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to regulate foods sold throughout school campuses during all hours in which school is in session.

Currently, the United States Department of Agriculture only has the authority to regulate food sold through the National School Lunch Program — meals in the lunchroom sold only during lunch hours.

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