From The Ferguson Group

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $20.6 billion Agriculture spending bill last Thursday that contains a carefully constructed compromise on enforcing school nutrition standards. At the markup, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) won support for delaying a 2017 requirement for lower sodium levels in school meals by requiring further study. Harkin's plan reflects negotiations with GOP members, as it would study the sodium levels but not allow for waivers of other school nutrition standards as sought by House appropriators in their draft bill the previous week. On another closely watched issue, the measure does reflect the House bill in adding white potatoes to the food eligible for the nearly $7 billion Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. The measure, approved 30-0, also included riders on perennial issues, including one that would essentially ban horse slaughter and another that would allow labeling of genetically modified salmon.