Dairy leaders worry whole milk could be banned in schools


The American Dairy Coalition sent a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Secretary Alex Azar of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this week requesting they look into concerns farmers have with the draft of the new Dietary Guidelines for America.

The guidelines are updated every five years and set the country’s leading nutrition policies that directly influence WIC, SNAP, as well as school and hospital nutrition programs across the nation. Despite a large amount of evidence that shows that full-fat dairy products reduce chronic disease in children and adults and promotes learning readiness in children, the DGA continues to set caps on saturated fats, which essentially bans whole milk from daycares and school nutrition programs.

The letter encourages ag leaders to intervene and delay the publication of the DGA so it can be updated to include the most up to date scientific evidence on the health benefits of saturated fats. The letter also requests the USDA and HHS to review and address the process by which these Dietary Guidelines are written.

In the 40 years since the DGA implementation, childhood obesity and diabetes diagnoses have tripled and adult obesity rates have doubled.

In the letter, Lauri Fischer, the CEO of the American Dairy Coalition, said, “The American Dairy Coalition and the dairy producers we represent, support the choice of offering whole milk in all daycare and school nutrition programs. Science concludes that full-fat dairy products not only improve nutrition but also learning readiness, especially for those most nutritionally at-risk.”