Dairy leaders are applauding the House Education and Workforce Committee for their decision to include key dairy provisions in the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, an amendment approved today by the committee. The bipartisan amendment by Congressmen G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) is specifically targeted at addressing declining school milk consumption, and the document was unanimously approved.
“Fluid milk consumption in schools has declined in recent years, and in fact most Americans are drinking less milk than recommended by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA),” said J. David Carlin, senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy at the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). “The fact that the school milk provisions have bipartisan support in this bill is an indication of how important it is to promote better consumption of milk by the nation’s students.”
That amendment bolsters recommendations made in the DGA, released earlier this year, which states that current laws should continue to make milk integral to all current child nutrition programs. The amendment also requires that necessary adjustments be made to promote better consumption of milk by the nation’s students, as well as to permit schools the ability to offer all varieties consistent with the DGA.
“This bill takes an important step toward reversing the decline in school milk consumption by asking USDA to examine how to ensure that kids are getting enough milk,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). “By better aligning the school lunch program with the dietary guidelines, options including 1% flavored milk will be back on the lunch tray in school cafeterias as a result of this legislation.”
The bill will now move to consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives.