Reason Roundup

States Sue Over School Lunch Changes, Say They're Not Scientific Like the Obama Rules Based on Retracted Nutrition Studies

Plus: Pete Buttigieg says no to "free college," and the problems with Elizabeth Warren's plan to jail business execs


Suit takes aim at new school lunch standards. A recent rule change regarding school lunches was greeted with relief by some school districts, who had found that federal mandates from the Obama administration led to food waste, less lunches sold, and more kids buying meals from vending machines. Additionally, schools were still allowed to serve sugary flavored milk, but for some reason it had to be the less nutritious nonfat version.

The changes approved by the Trump administration are relatively minor—more time to comply with reduced sodium levels, no need for flavored milk to be nonfat, and lower whole-grain requirements for some foods—but they address some of the chief criticisms from public schools across the country.

Some state attorneys general don't like that. They're now suing in federal court to make the Obama-era lunch standards permanent.

The suit argues that the recent changes are illegal because Agriculture Department officials didn't provide scientific justification. This is pretty hilarious, considering the sloppy science that the Obama administration relied on when instituting its "Smarter Lunchrooms" program. Many papers from the lead architect of the initiative have since been retracted, after fellow researchers found inconsistencies, errors, and evidence of fraudulent data.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys general in California, D.C., Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont. The eternal whackjobs at the PETA-esque Center for Science in the Public Interest have filed a separate lawsuit also challenging the changes.


Warren wants to lower burden of proof for white-collar crime. Some people are defending Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "bad bill to jail executives for negligence" using "the argument that we should trust prosecutors to show restraint," tweets Radley Balko. But this "flies in the face the history of prosecutors."

Read more on why from criminal law professor Carissa Byrne Hessick in this thread.


Pete Buttigieg says no to "free college." Behold, the rare Democratic presidential candidate capable of resisting a trendy talking point:


  • Amazing how many new ways that prison staff can find to be evil: