American Dairy Coalition: We Need Whole Milk Choice Back in Schools!

According to the proposed Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) 2020-2025, whole milk will continue to be banned from schools across the nation. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines are only updated and published every 5 years. The time is now to ensure whole milk can once again be offered as a choice in school nutrition programs. Other dairy groups are applauding the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) for simply keeping dairy in their recommendations and including some dairy in birth-24 months — but this isn’t enough. We are missing the mark on recognizing the need for whole milk in the guidelines. This is too large of a mistake to allow.

In 2017, Congress authorized $1 million of taxpayer money for a third-party review, conducted by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). It was the first-ever outside peer review of the DGA process. The report showed how only 20% of our government’s nutrition recommendations are based on “strong” science, according to the government’s own standards. The NASEM report made specific recommendations about how to improve the transparency, manage the major conflicts of interest on the advisory committee, and improve the scientific rigor to make the DGA policy reliable and trustworthy.

Yet this congressionally mandated report was vastly ignored in the recently proposed DGA, and we can no longer allow this flawed outcome to continue. Continuing the ban on whole milk based on out-of-date science and a clearly unbalanced, one-sided subcommittee on saturated fats is appalling.

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee ignored a massive body of recent science-based research showing the longstanding caps on saturated fats are not supported by science.

This science includes large, government-funded studies on more than 75,000 people, demonstrating that saturated fats have no effect on cardiovascular or total mortality. The 2020 DGA Advisory Committee is relying instead on reviews conducted in 2015 and 2010, which were deemed by the NASEM to be “unsystematic” and, therefore, unreliable.

A team of highly respected scientists also wrote a “State of the Art” review of saturated fats, recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, concluding that continued caps on saturated fats were no longer warranted. This paper’s authors included three former members of the previous dietary guidelines’ advisory committees, including the chair of the 2005 DGA. The paper adds to nearly 20 other reviews by independent scientists who have come to similar conclusions over the past decade. See the full list of reviews here

Without intervention, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) will go into effect at the end of the year. We must delay the Guidelines until these issues have been fixed — but we need your help! Americans deserve sound science, not outdated studies. 

About The American Dairy Coalition:

The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) is a farmer-led national lobbying organization of progressive, modern dairy farmers. We focus on federal dairy policy. For more information, contact CEO Laurie Fischer at 319-391-8390.