California Assembly backs 'Safe School Lunch Act'

June 2, 2004, as reported by Californian parents have been fighting to keep irradiated foods off their childrens’ lunch trays and Thursday night May 27 they logged their first major victory. US consumer group Public Citizen has said Assembly Bill 1988, the California Safe School Lunch Act, has passed the Assembly Floor and is now on its way to the Senate.

The group hailed the move as “a big win for parents and students”. AB 1988 requires school board approval before irradiated food can be served in school canteens, requires disclosure and notification to parents, and requires a non-irradiated alternative be served in school cafeterias.

In May 2003, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved irradiated foods for the National School Lunch Program, which provides free or reduced price meals to schoolchildren.

Although irradiated meat must be labeled in grocery stores according to federal law, it does not have to be labeled when served in school cafeterias, restaurants or hospitals.

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