Congress Pushes Back On Healthier School Lunches

11/15/2011 12:02 am ET | Updated Jan 14, 2012

WASHINGTON — Congress is unraveling the Obama administration's attempt to make school lunches healthier, pushing back against Agriculture Department efforts to limit french fries and pizzas, reduce sodium and boost whole grains on school lunch lines.

A spending bill released late Monday would force the department to drop an attempt to limit servings of potatoes per week, delay proposed limits on sodium and delay a requirement to boost whole grains. The department proposed the standards earlier this year.

The spending bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The department's proposed guidelines would have attempted to prevent that.

The changes had been requested by food companies that produce frozen pizzas, the salt industry and potato growers.