The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

French fries as fresh veggie classification boon to big business

by C.P. Pandya

June 17, 2004 – Harkening the days when the Reagan administration tried to classify ketchup as a vegetable in order to obtain a subsidy to pay for the federal child school lunch program, the US Department of Agriculture sided with the food industry in a major corporate victory when it declared batter-coated french fries classify as "fresh vegetables." Taking advantage of the obscure Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, the ruling allows french fry manufacturers to be guaranteed payment for their products even if a grocery store or restaurant goes out of business. The law, passed in 1930, was originally intended to protect food and vegetable farmers - not large processing companies - from being denied payment if their customers went out of business. Most categories of french fries have been considered vegetables for commerce purposes since 1996.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.


C.P. Pandya is a contributing journalist.

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