Rep. Tom Tiffany introduces bill to keep chocolate milk in schools

It’s called the “Milk is Indisputably Liked by Kids Act” or MILK Act
Nearly 240,000 units of chocolate milk are impacted by the recall.
Nearly 240,000 units of chocolate milk are impacted by the recall.(Hiland Dairy)
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 3:50 PM CDT
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WISCONSIN. (Northern News Now) - A Wisconsin representative has stepped up to keep flavored milk in schools.

Representative Tom Tiffany joined seven members of Congress to introduce the Milk is Indisputably Liked by Kids Act or MILK Act for short.

Rep. Tiffany represents Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District which encompasses most of Northwestern and North Centeral Wisconsin.

This bill would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require schools to offer flavored milk under the school lunch program.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering banning chocolate milk from elementary and middle schools.

This comes after the USDA issued a proposed rule in February that would set new nutrition standards for school meals, including limiting added sugars and sodium.

Rep. Tiffany is concerned if the rule does change, the proposed standards could limit the amount of flavored milk, such as chocolate and strawberry, in high schools while children in elementary and middle schools would be restricted to a variety of unflavored milk.

“Out of all the crises the Biden administration should be focused on, how did chocolate milk in school lunches become public enemy number one? Chocolate milk is full of rich nutrients that support bone growth and development, and millions of children enjoy drinking it,” Representative Tiffany said in a statement.

In a news release President of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative Brody Stapel said, “Providing our children access to a healthy, complete, and nutritious product such as flavored milk is the fundamental basis to maintain a healthy diet. It is preposterous to think that the USDA would limit access to flavored milk for school children. Flavored milk is nutritious, healthy, tastes great and children love it. Millions of children rely on the nutrition from milk that is essential to help them grow and develop.”

Dr. Michael Dykes, President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association added, “ shows, that when low-fat flavored milk is taken off the menu, school milk consumption declines, school meal participation declines, and more food gets wasted.”

Kevin Krentz, Wisconsin Farm Bureau President said, “Children across the country should have the option to choose the most flavorful milk options available. Wisconsin Farm Bureau supports Rep. Tiffany’s MILK Act to ensure children have access to nutritious flavored milk.”

According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, removing flavored milk from schools resulted in a 62 to 63% reduction in milk consumption by kids in kindergarten through 5th grade.

Cosponsors on the bill include Rep. Jim Banks, (R-Indiana), Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, (R-Wisconsin), Rep. Glenn Grothman, (R-Wisconsin), Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Rep. Andy Ogles, (R-Tennessee), Rep. Scott Perry, (R-Pennsylvania), and Rep. Derrick Van Orden, (R-Wisconsin).

You can see the full MILK Act here.

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