House Ed & Labor GOP advances school whole milk bill
|The House Education and Labor Committee on Tuesday approved the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act, which would allow schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to serve all varieties of flavored and unflavored milk, including whole milk.|
The committee also passed three other bills. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said the bills would “improve outcomes and choices for the American people” and urged the support of the full House.
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the ranking member on the committee, said the House had called up a “set of bills that neglect our responsibilities to students, workers, and families.” The whole milk bill, he said, “ignores the science and guidance from nutritionists and pediatricians. The current dietary guidelines, which are determined by child nutrition experts and public input, make clear that low-fat and fat-free milk are the healthiest options for children.”
International Dairy Foods Association President and CEO Michael Dykes praised the committee for advancing the whole milk bill. Dykes highlighted House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., who also sits on Ed & Labor, and Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., for introducing the measure.Dykes said, “The bill provides children, parents, and schools a wide variety of milk options — whole, reduced-fat, low-fat, non-fat and lactose-free — to meet their nutritional needs. Whole milk provides students with milk’s 13 essential nutrients for growth, development, healthy immune function, and overall wellness. A wide majority of parents and medical and nutrition professionals know that offering whole milk increases school meal participation, reduces food waste, and adds to the nutritional value of school meals for children and adolescents. IDFA looks forward to working with the full House on passage of the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act in the coming weeks.”
Meghan Maroney, the Center for Science in the Public Interest campaign manager for federal child nutrition programs, called the bill “a misguided and harmful bill that prioritizes corporate interests at the expense of child health.” Allowing whole milk in school meals would result in “increasing the overall allowance of saturated fat in school meals, inconsistent with the recommendations of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” she added.