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UPDATE: House and Senate Approve Agriculture Appropriations Bill

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November 18, 2011 -- Yesterday evening, the House and Senate both approved the FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill by a vote of 298 to 121 in the House and 70 to 30 in the Senate.  The next step is for the legislation to go to the White House for the President’s signature.  The Office of Management and Budget guidelines dictate that the measure must be signed into law by the end of Saturday to prevent a disruption in government operations.


November 15, 2011 -- House and Senate conferees have completed negotiations on a $137 billion 2012 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.  This bill has been merged with the Commerce, Justice Science Appropriations bill and the Transportation – Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.  It will also provide continuing funding for the rest of the federal government through December 16.  The House is expected to vote on Thursday, and the Senate will take up the measure following House approval.  The conference agreement includes general provisions regarding the proposed school meal standards rule:

  • SEC. 743. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement an interim final or final rule regarding nutrition programs under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 seq.) that 
    • (1) requires crediting of tomato paste and puree based on volume;
    • (2) implements a sodium reduction target beyond Target I, the 2-year target, specified in Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, "Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs" until the Secretary certifies that the Department has reviewed and evaluated relevant scientific studies and data relevant to the relationship of sodium reductions to human health; and
    • (3) establishes any whole grain requirement without defining "whole grain."
  • SEC. 746. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement an interim final or final rule that
    • (1) sets any maximum limits on the serving of vegetables in school meal programs established under the Richard B . Russell National School Lunch Act and by section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966; or
    • (2) is inconsistent with the recommendations of the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans for vegetables.


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