Agriculture Secretary Pushes Milk Back Into Schools

Sonny Perdue reverses sugary milk ban to get dairy back into school lunches to boost failing dairy industry.


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Newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue reinstated low-fat milk as part of the National School Lunch Program—a product banned under Obama administration to promote healthier options to children. “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,” National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jim Mulhern said. Perdue announced that he will enforce regulations that will place sugar-laden strawberry and chocolate milk on the menu at schools during his term. “When kids don’t drink milk,” International Dairy Foods Association member J. David Carlin claimed, “it’s extremely difficult for them to get the proper amounts of calcium, potassium, Vitamin D and other nutrients that dairy foods supply.” Perdue’s action is in line with measures taken by other politicians to bolster the failing dairy industry, including the introduction of the Dairy Pride Act—legislation supported by congressmen from dairy-producing states that would ban the term “milk” from being used by plant-based companies. Despite the dairy industry’s claims that children benefit from the consumption of milk, a growing body of studies show that a vegan diet is optimal for children, particularly in reducing incidences of childhood obesity.