This week, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) sent a letter to Congress that urges members to insist that the United States request a more thorough analysis of a World Health Organization (WHO) proposal that seeks to discourage parents from feeding toddlers milk and dairy products.
WHO issued “Ending Inappropriate Marketing of Foods for Infants and Young Children,” a guidance document urging the prohibition of the promotion and marketing of various milk products for children up to age three, earlier this year.
“The WHO guidance document is a de facto criticism of all milk consumption by toddlers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “This flies in the face of all credible, international nutrition research, and would confuse consumers across the globe.”
The guidance counters ample scientific evidence that dairy plays a significant and positive role in children’s diets, as seen in the recently updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the inclusion of dairy foods in programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
“This is of great concern to the U.S. dairy industry because the policies proposed contradict decades of federal nutrition policy, which recognizes dairy foods as safe, nutrient-rich foods to be encouraged for growing children under three years of age,” the letter argued.