End the Gridlock
Jacobson, Michael L., Nutrition Action Healthletter
Newspapers write about "gridlock in Washington," referring to the virtual impossibility of getting Democrats and Republicans in Congress to agree on anything. But there's another kind of gridlock going on: the Obama administration's failure to issue new regulations to implement laws that have already been passed.
Twenty months ago, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (the non-profit publisher of Nutrition Action Healthletter) helped successfully shepherd three important laws through Congress. One aimed at making the food supply safer, another at requiring chain restaurants to list calories on their menus, and a third at making school foods healthier.
But passing a law isn't enough. The government has to issue regulations that say precisely what the legislation will require. And that has happened for only one of the laws. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act will start going into effect this month (albeit with weaknesses inflicted by the frozen-pizza and potato industries). Soon our children will be eating more whole grains, vegetables, and fruit and less salt and trans fat at school. But the other two laws have been victims of gridlock. The Obama administration appears to be afraid that every new regulation will bring cries of "job killing" from Republicans. So most new regulations are being put
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