Governor Scott Walker issued the following statement upon the recent release of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) interim final rule:
"It is great news for students across the nation, as well as Wisconsin's cranberry industry, that after review, the USDA decided to keep cranberries as an option for students who enjoy school meals and snacks," said Governor Walker, who drinks cranberry juice almost daily. "Cranberries have great health benefits that are good for both kids and adults."
Governor Walker, along with a bipartisan group of Wisconsin's Congressional Delegation, urged the USDA to reconsider a rule that would have forced schools to reduce or eliminate cranberries from school menus. The USDA rule targeted cranberries for added sugar, even though they are known as a top nutritional food, rich in fiber, vitamin C, and powerful disease-fighting antioxidants.
Governor Walker said other concerns about the rule remain, including the strict limitations placed on dairy products in schools, the heavy amount of federal bureaucracy the rule places on local school districts, and the restrictions on personal choice.
The interim final rule may be accessed here. States, districts, and schools must be in compliance with this rule by July 1, 2014.