NYC mayor backs off flavored milk ban for now
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who during his campaign said he would ban chocolate milk in schools, last week said he would not make any determination about it until he has consulted with stakeholders.
“We are preparing for stakeholder engagement with our school communities to provide feedback on all aspects of our school food program. In the interim, we are not making any determinations about chocolate milk,” Adams wrote.
The U.S. dairy industry praised Adams for backing off.
International Dairy Foods Association President and CEO Michael Dykes noted that Adams “is honoring a longstanding policy in New York City government that allows individual schools to determine the types of milk they will serve with meals as long as the milk options are consistent with standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
“I am pleased to see Mayor Adams following the lead of parents, physicians, and dietitians, all of whom widely support offering low-fat flavored milk to students in our public schools,” Dykes added.
“Maintaining low-fat flavored milk options in school plays an important role in the diet and nutrition of children because milk contains 13 essential nutrients that children need for growth, development, healthy immune function, and overall wellness.”
Dykes also noted that a group of New York House members led by Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., had written Adams to encourage him not to discontinue flavored milk.
Dykes added that Rep. Elise Stefank, R-N.Y., had introduced a bill that would require school systems in the federal lunch program to offer students at least one low-fat flavored milk option at meals.
National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern said, “Dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own are pleased that Mayor Adams isn’t moving forward with a misguided ban on flavored milk in schools and instead maintaining New York City schools’ ability to offer a wide variety of milk that’s consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
“Flavored milk is rich in nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamin D; its consumption as an aid to better student nutrition is supported by parents, physicians, and public health professionals alike,” Mulhern said.
“Just this spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture moved forward with a rule to allow schools to offer low-fat flavored milk for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.”
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