Dairy leaders worry whole milk could be banned in schools


This week the American Dairy Coalition sent a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue of the U.S Department of Agriculture and Secretary Alex Azar of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requesting they look into concerns farmers have with the draft of the Dietary Guidelines for America.

The Dietary Guidelines for America, which is updated every 5 years, sets our nation’s leading nutrition policies and directly influences WIC, SNAP, as well as school and hospital nutrition programs across the nation. Despite an abundance of science that demonstrate that full-fat dairy products reduce chronic disease in children and adults and promotes learning readiness in children, the DGA continue to set caps on saturated fats, effectively banning whole milk from daycares and school nutrition programs.

ADC’s letter encourages Azar and Perdue to intervene and delay the publication of the DGA so it can be updated to include the most recent scientific evidence on the health benefits of saturated fats. Furthermore, the dairy coalition requests the USDA and HHS to review and address the process by which these Dietary Guidelines are written. In 2015, Congress commissioned the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to conduct a third-party review of the DGA process at a cost of $1 million of taxpayer dollars. ADC wants to understand why nearly all of the recommendations offered in the NASEM report were ignored.

In the 40 years since the implementation of the Dietary Guidelines for America Program, childhood obesity and diabetes diagnoses have tripled; adult obesity rates have doubled, and 25 million adult Americans have diabetes. The current guidelines are not working. Americans deserve sound science and we cannot wait another 5 years to get it right.

In the letter, Laurie Fischer, CEO of the American Dairy Coalition, said, “The American Dairy Coalition and the dairy producers we represent, support the choice of offering whole milk in all daycare and school nutrition programs. Science concludes that full-fat dairy products not only improve nutrition, but also learning readiness, especially for those most nutritionally at-risk.”

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