Court Battles

Court blocks Trump administration rollback of some school nutrition standards

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A federal court on Monday blocked a Trump administration rollback of nutrition guidelines for the National School Lunch Program.

The District Court of Maryland ruled that the standards reductions initiated by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in 2018 violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) — the law that regulates how federal agencies develop and issue regulations.

The rollbacks slashed the whole-grain requirements that all school meals must meet while permitting higher sodium levels in meals.

The court found that the Agriculture Department failed to seek public feedback, as required by the APA, on its final three reductions of sodium level standards.

In its decision, the court described the rollbacks as “not a logical outgrowth.”

“There is a fundamental difference between delaying compliance standards — which indicates that school meals will still eventually meet those standards — and eliminating those standards altogether,” it added.

Democracy Forward, the legal nonprofit that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Healthy School Food Maryland, called the court’s ruling a “victory for children and families.”

“The Trump administration’s unlawful rollback of important school meal nutrition standards jeopardized children’s access to the nutritious foods they need to stay healthy,” Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy said in a statement.

Tags Administrative Procedure Act National School Lunch Program Sonny Perdue Sonny Perdue USDA

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