by Jack Minor –
The Greeley/Evans school district would not have any problem meeting the requirements of a proposed bill that would be the strictest in the nation by banning all trans-fat from school lunchrooms and buildings.
Sen. Lucia Guzman and Rep. Tom Massey have sponsored a bill that would prohibit all public and charter schools from making any food item that includes trans-fats available to a student.
The bill says it “applies to all food and beverages made available to a student on school grounds during each school day and extended school day.”
The prohibition would include any food or beverage item made available in the school cafeteria, vending machine or school store. The bill as initially written would also prohibit groups from conducting a bake sale or other fundraiser containing items made with trans-fats.
While the law bans parents from baking or preparing any food with trans-fats for their children, the bill has no problem with trans-fats offered by the federal government.
The bill states that the prohibition does not extend to “any food or beverage that is made available to a student as part of a meal program of the United States Department of Agriculture.”
Jeremy West, Nutrition director for District 6, said the most difficult problem they will have complying with the law will be to ensure that all the other foods such as those in vending machines, classroom parties, fundraisers, classroom rewards and school stores are in compliance.
While the elimination of trans-fats from the cafeteria is nearly complete, eliminating them from the rest of the buildings poses a significant challenge. The district currently uses a third party for the vending machines. Some products would have to be removed from the machines.
Based on the wording some have questioned whether the law would apply to children bringing lunches from home into the cafeteria. If so, teachers and administrators would basically become food police.
Janice Crouse, with Concerned Women for America, told OneNews Now that the bill is a dangerous trend by lawmakers who feel they are better suited than parents on how to feed their children.
“We’re getting more and more regulation into things that the government really has no business sticking its nose into, and we are trying to do by regulation what we ought to be doing by educating parents and leaving parents to raise their own children,” she said.
Guzman told the Gazette that the bill as written would not affect any child who brings their lunch from home. Following criticism over the fundraising restriction, an amendment has been added that would exempt fundraisers with baked goods after school officials told legislators they would have difficulty ensuring families complied with the rule while baking at home.