Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson says a proposed USDA rule to limit potatoes, corn, green peas and lima beans to one cup per week in school lunches was “senseless” and costly, and he's hailing the passage in the House today of the fiscal year 2012 agriculture appropriations bill, HR 2112, which includes language designed to head off the rule. “The USDA proposed rule would have been another completely unnecessary, unfunded mandate by the federal government,” Simpson said, extolling the nutritional benefits of potatoes. “A medium potato contains over 200 milligrams more potassium than a banana and has as much fiber as a similar serving of broccoli,” the congressman said in a statement. Schools would have faced substantial increased costs to comply, he said; the approprations bill includes a clause directing the USDA to issue a new proposed rule that will not carry any increased costs for schools. You can read Simpson's full news release here.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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