The American Dairy Coalition appreciates the efforts of Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) for spearheading a bipartisan effort in the state of Wisconsin, asking the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to remove the current caps on saturated fat and allow schoolchildren and others the opportunity to drink whole milk and other full-fat dairy products while attending school each day. The current proposed 2020-25 Draft Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) are once again not allowing full-fat dairy products into schools. Under Rep. Gallagher’s leadership, a bipartisan group of Wisconsin legislators including Congressmen Glen Grothman (R-WI), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Ron Kind (D-WI) asked USDA and HHS to address concerns that the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) failed to consider a massive body of recent peer-reviewed research showing that longstanding caps on saturated fats are no longer supported by science.
Laurie Fischer, Founder and CEO of the American Dairy Coalition states, “We must not implement the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans until the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services certify that the information in this report is based on the most up-to-date scientific research and unbiased review protocols, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). This entire process has been flawed for many years. The DGA should include the most current scientific studies on nutrition, including the most recent publications and reviews on weight loss, carbohydrate restriction, and saturated fat intake to determine the dietary needs of all Americans. Utilizing flexibility in the choice of full-fat dairy foods, such as a glass of whole milk for schoolchildren, is a necessary part of a balanced, healthy diet for all Americans. We should not wait another 5 years to address this broken process.”
The American Dairy Coalition and the producers that they represent across the nation appreciate Congressman Gallagher and the fellow signees of his letter for understanding how important this issues is to farmers. They pride themselves in providing quality, delicious nutrition for children across the nation, but the current caps prevent their most nutritious and best-tasting product from reaching children in schools. Denying kids full-fat dairy based on outdated science is irresponsible.
As JJ Pagel, a Wisconsin Dairy Farmer states, “We are grateful for our Congressman, especially my very own Rep. Gallagher, for taking the lead on this important issue. I’m proud to be a dairy farmer in the heart of America’s Dairyland, producing wholesome, safe, affordable milk each and every day. But the ban on whole milk and whole fat dairy foods needs to end. It’s time that we are able to offer our best-tasting, most nutritious product as a choice- especially for our kids in schools. We need to get this right.”
The American Dairy Coalition urges the USDA and HHS to heed the requests on Representative Gallagher and his fellow Congressmen. Our nation’s children deserve the access to choose high-quality, nutritious, and great-tasting whole milk in schools. We cannot wait another 5 years to get this right.