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The Lie That Will Not Die

February 27, 2012

From Sara Burrows at the Carolina Journal, two weeks ago:

RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

From our own Dave Ribar, a few days later:

The Carolina Journal explained that “The first two paragraphs of this story were updated. Neither DHHS nor school officials would identify the person who inspected the homemade lunches and decided they did not meet USDA guidelines.” Thus, the CJ’s initial statements, which were reported as facts (not “alleged” or according to the child or parent), were never confirmed with the school, DHHS, or the person involved.

Indeed, the CJ actually has the gall to now run a story about not being able to identify the person involved, saying that “the government officials involved have provided sketchy — and sometimes conflicting — details” about the person involved, and then lists contradictions from the Civitas story as part of the evidence.

A spokesperson for the school district later admitted that it was likely the school’s mistake.

Meanwhile, the lie continues to have legs among the MSM, including the right wing media:

So far, the story has been promoted by the Eagle Forum and the Family Research Council, which sees it as proof that “the Left’s goal is not just to control you. The goal is to control your children. And the more authority it can siphon away from parents, the better its chances are.”

Gary Bauer also featured it in his daily email, declaring “welcome to Obama’s brave new world. If the government can force us to buy specific products, force religious institutions to violate their values and send lunchbox inspectors to sort through our kids’ food, Chinese-style ‘commissars’ are in our future.”

And, never one to be outdone, Bryan Fischer was apoplectic that Michele Obama’s army of Brownshirt/Stormtrooper/Stasi thugs are out there confiscating the lunches of little children.

Last week, the Wife and I went out to dinner and the couple across from us were spitting fire over the notion that the “food police” would do such a thing. The Wife suggested I disabuse them of the lie. So, after their plates were cleared away and they were preparing to leave, I leaned over and informed them that it never happened. I meant to elaborate that it was a story from the JLF’s Carolina Journal, but once I uttered the word “despicable,” I got stuck and just kept repeating it.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. michele permalink
    February 27, 2012 11:43 am

    I’ve given up on attempting to disabuse people of lies that will not die. Invariably, I am labeled as a tool of the liberal media and attacked accordingly. Faux news feeds the hysterical hunger of extremists. Sigh. Let ‘em eat.

    • February 27, 2012 11:47 am

      That’s strange, as reasonable people around here have heard you on multiple occasions declare yourself a conservative. Things are really whacked when even a thoughtful and compassionate religious conservative such as you is labeled a liberal.

  2. michele permalink
    February 27, 2012 12:27 pm

    While I definitely wouldn’t label myself a liberal (no offense to liberals), the connotation of the word “conservative” has certainly changed in recent years. And “evangelical” has been co-opted, now referring more to politics than faith. So I now simply describe my politics as independent and my faith as Christian. :)

  3. RBM permalink
    February 27, 2012 2:26 pm

    The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

    Does anyone know what is the/any requirement by the ‘Division’ of such programs ?

    I’m just curious as to the degree of lie, I guess.

  4. February 27, 2012 4:14 pm

    I don’t know the truth in this particular story but how many have ever wondered why the USDA is in charge of and sets guidelines for school lunch programs. The same reason the USDA started the first Food Stamp Program– to sell more food grown by US farmers.

    The USDA should not manage these programs as it is a conflict of interest for the agency.

    • RBM permalink
      February 27, 2012 4:47 pm

      I’ll agree it’s a conflict.

      However the suggestion to split out another department will get spun into ‘big government’ by those who think simplistically.

      Don’t forget too which politico’s have the most power, on this topic, in the halls of Congress, the ag politico’s – like where I live.

  5. February 27, 2012 9:30 pm

    Ribar’s refutation is anything but definitive. However, the subsequent editorial contortions by the JLF are as representative of guilt as might be required by a reasonable person, if you can actually find one.

  6. March 7, 2012 12:35 am

    Never happened? Why this, then: http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=8841

    • March 7, 2012 9:25 am

      It never happened in the context of a government sponsored “food police.”

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