A petition to return whole milk to school cafeterias has garnered more than 5,300 signatures and counting within two months, and its lead organizer told POLITICO she’s received hundreds more by mail and will keep pushing for signatures through the end of the year. Sherry Bunting, an agriculture writer for the weekly dairy magazine Farmshine in Pennsylvania, plans to deliver the petition to the head of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Brandon Lipps, during the third meeting of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee next week. The Senate and House Agriculture committees will get copies, as well.
Bunting said dairy farmers, veterinarians and consumers have signed on to the campaign, aimed at galvanizing support for legislation, H.R. 832 (116), introduced by Rep. G.T. Thompson (R-Pa.) earlier this year that would amend the national school lunch and breakfast programs, which only allow 1 and 2 percent milk. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in 2018 finalized regulations allowing flavored versions back into the program, part of a broader effort to chip away at former first lady Michelle Obama’s school nutrition efforts.
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