Money Well Spent in China?

Conservative group calls to end U.S. science research grants


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

China Syndrome

The U.S. government has funded more than $90 million in grants for research in China since 2003. China is America's top foreign creditor. The Daily Caller reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsored public research projects there on such things as acupuncture and sexually transmitted diseases among prostitutes.

A conservative group wants Congress to cut such funding. But researchers have written a letter to congressional appropriators asking them to continue funding NIH grants and leave politics out of the review process.

Want Fries With That?

Kids will be getting more than just a toy surprise in their Happy Meals come January. McDonald's will be putting in a half-order of apples in every child's meal along with a half-order of French fries as part of a broader health push.

Customers will still be able to order a full portion of either item, but the fast food giant says only about 11 percent were ordering apples on their own.

McDonald's insists it is not buckling to pressure even as the restaurant industry takes some of the blame for skyrocketing childhood obesity rates.

First lady Michelle Obama praised the changes as continued progress.

Let's Move, White House!

Mrs. Obama can count the Happy Meal change as a victory, but the rest of the White House is lagging in a program to collect healthy food for the needy.

The Feds Feed Families campaign has a goal of collecting 2 million pounds of food from federal workers for area food banks. However, the Executive Office of the President ranks 27th of 36 agencies. It has collected 332 pounds of food.

Another agency with a small staff -- the Federal Communications Commission -- has donated more than 3,000 pounds so far.