Center for Science in the Public Interest v. Sonny Perdue
Center for Science in the Public Interest v. Sonny Perdue (U.S. District Court – District of Maryland, April 13, 2020): The federal district court vacated and remanded USDA’s December 2018 final rule on sodium and whole grain requirements for federal school lunch and breakfast programs. Under the federal Administrative Procedures Act, federal agencies like USDA must provide sufficient notice of a regulation’s content to allow public comment. USDA’s final rule on sodium and whole grain violated this notice and comment requirement. In 2012, the agency passed regulations to decrease student intake of sodium and increase consumption of whole grains. The sodium restrictions were to be implemented in 3 phases over 10 years. The whole grain regulations required that all grain products served to students be whole grain rich. In 2017, USDA published an interim final rule which discussed delaying the implementation of the sodium restrictions and providing state hardship exemptions to the whole grain rich requirement. USDA’s 2018 final rule eliminated the final sodium target and the whole grain requirement. The court found that the final rule was not a logical outgrowth of the interim final rule and as a result failed to provide the required notice of USDA’s intended regulatory approach. Read the decision here.
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