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Cupcake cops

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Arrogant federal overreach dips to a new low with rules that threaten a time-honored tradition — school bake sales that provide sweet treats for students and ease taxpayer burdens by helping to pay for sports, cheerleading, band and other activities.

Effective this month and applying this fall at schools participating in federal meals programs, the new rules stem from the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act touted by self-appointed first lunch lady Michelle Obama and her anti-childhood-obesity “Let's Move!” campaign. The Wall Street Journal says the rules ban daytime sales of items that don't meet federal nutrition standards, such as typical bake sale items. States have some say in how many “infrequent” exceptions are allowed — and the feds have fines for violations.

To date, 32 states allow no exceptions, according to the School Nutrition Association. And even when a bake sale is allowed, some schools prohibit homemade items, limiting offerings to processed items bearing precise nutritional information.

Such micromanagement of community life is in keeping with the “government knows best” agenda behind federal diktats on toilets' water consumption and what light bulbs can and can't be sold. Hopefully, bake sales are where Americans will draw a line — by telling government “hands off!” when it comes to cookies and cupcakes that both sweeten and enrich the educational experience.

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