The House Education and Labor Committee, led by Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., held a hearing today on a bill called "Improving Nutrition for America's Children."  The bill is designed to "improve children's access to nutritious meals, enhance the quality of meals children eat both in and out of school and in child care settings, implement new school food safety guidelines and, for the first time, establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools."

Our member companies, as industry leaders on school health and wellness, support federal efforts to improve the lives of America's schoolchildren when it comes to school nutrition.  After all, we're parents and grandparents, too.  In fact, earlier this year, we announced the successful implementation of our national School Beverage Guidelines - part of a broader effort to teach children the importance of a balanced diet and exercise.  Under the guidelines, we've removed full-calorie soft drinks from all schools and replaced them with more lower-calorie, nutritious, smaller-portion beverage options, resulting in a dramatic 88 percent decline in beverage calories shipped to schools since 2004.

As Congress works to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act this year, we will continue to work with them and others in the public health and education community, as well as the food and beverage industry, to ensure its passage. And we respectfully remind them to look at our School Beverage Guidelines - a national standard that is already in place and working and which we believe are a solid foundation for developing new federal nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold in schools.