The “Great Potato Debate” has the industry and schools concerned

The potato industry is still on high alert despite assurance from the federal government that potatoes will be reclassified as grains.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack sent a letter to Senator Susan Collins of Maine, assuring her that potatoes will not be classified as grain under new dietary guidelines, but potato groups fear USDA and HHS are considering making potatoes interchangeable with grain guidelines. That would have similar effects as a reclassification.

The Guidelines Act is a basis for the regulation of several federal programs such as school meals.
Last year, schools accounted for nearly $230 million in potato sales.