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Government/Politics

Texas Ag Commissioner Delivers His Vision For The Future, And It Includes Deep Fryers

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Ryan E. Poppe
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Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner

 

The state’s agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, is celebrating his first six months in office by listing off a number of aggressive and somewhat controversial initiatives his office will be undertaking.  

  

 

In the annual State of Agriculture address on Wednesday, Miller said, “There’s three things we don’t tolerate at the TDA, we don’t tolerate horse thieves, cattle rustlers and cheats. We’ll come get you.”

 

 

 

One of his first official orders as agriculture commissioner was to reversing the 2013 healthy school lunchroom initiative that banned sugary drinks and fried foods from school cafeterias. Miller says he's not changing his mind.

 

 

“Schools will have the choice to install deep fryers. Now instead of thawing out frozen fried foods, they will have the option of having it fresh. Because the problem we have is not serving healthy foods. We’re serving healthy foods--but instead of healthy children we have healthy trash cans,” Miller said.

 

Most of the state’s larger school districts have not taken to Miller’s idea.

 

Miller also says his office will spend the next year clearing a backlog of complaints and consumer violations related to gas stations, grocery stores, and pawn shops tampering with their scales.

 

“In the six months before I took office, they hadn’t prosecuted one single case against a violator," Miller pointed out. "In fact there were hundreds of cases that were simply dismissed. Let this be a warming, if you rip off Texas consumers, we will come get you,” Miller stressed.

 

Miller says he will also focus on making sure that farmers, especially rice farmers, have access to much-needed water for their crops by working with regional water authorities and the state water development board.