5/3/17 Ag Sec. Perdue Rolls Back on School Food Regulations
May 2, 2017

Schools Will Again Be Allowed to Serve 1% Flavored Milks

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

As part of an announcement to “make school meals great again,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue signed a proclamation yesterday that will soon allow public schools to once again serve 1% flavored milks.

Perdue is directing USDA to begin the regulatory process to allow schools to again serve 1% flavored milks, and will publish an interim rule as soon as possible to change milk policy.

Under the Obama Administration, low-fat flavored milks were banned from both school meals and a la carte programs. “In just the first two years after low-fat flavored milk was removed from the program, 1.1 million fewer school students drank milk with their lunch,” says Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation.

“If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition—thus undermining the intent of the program,” Perdue says.

Several studies show that less milk consumption makes it difficult for students to meet basic nutritional needs. “When kids don’t drink milk, it’s extremely difficult for them to get the proper amounts of calcium, potassium, Vitamin D and other nutrients that dairy foods supply,” says J. David Carlin, senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy for the International Dairy Foods Association.