ATLANTA -- US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended new rules the Trump administration implemented changing nutritional standards for school lunch. The new rules undid some Obama era rules that sought to reduce salt and increase whole grains in school lunches.
Very shortly after former Georgia Gov. Perdue was sworn in to lead the US Department of Agriculture, he led an effort to change school lunch standards. Perdue says the old standards were forcing school cafeterias to serve lunches that schoolchildren wouldn’t eat.
Speaking to the national School Nutrition Association meeting in Atlanta, Perdue talked up what he described as new rules that give local schools more control and potentially make school lunches more appealing. And he said it was inconsistent to expect schools to enforce rules that aren’t enforced at home.
"(Parents) take the kids through the fast food drive-in, and want these school nutrition professionals to be on target as far as all these rules and regulations," Perdue told reporters. "When you look at the obesity epidemic we've got out there, that’s not happening at schools. That’s happening at home and on the roadway to and from school."
Perdue’s critics had said the rules he overturned were actually working and that schools were overwhelmingly complying with the Obama era lunch rules. Perdue responded by saying that schools were complying only because the law told them they had to.