New York’s congressional delegation has a message for health-conscious Mayor Adams: Leave our chocolate milk alone.
A new push in Congress that has won support from both sides of the political aisle would require schools to continue offering “flavored milk” to children with their meals.
The Empire State lawmakers wrote to Adams last week asking him to hold off on his effort to ban chocolate milk, arguing that children won’t drink the plain stuff and will miss out on essential nutrients as a result.
“We are committed to supporting the dairy farmers, producers, and agriculture partners across New York, while also ensuring that children in NYC schools have access to critical, life-enhancing nutrients,” read the “Dear Mayor” letter.
Upstate Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) introduced the Protecting School Milk Choices Act of 2022 last week to prevent schools from eliminating chocolate milk.
Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.) is pushing the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act which lauded “dairy’s central role in providing essential nutrients” and asks for the feds to allow chocolate-flavored whole milk along with a low-fat version.
Democrats like Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), who represents Queens, and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) also back the effort, along with most of the state’s handful of GOP lawmakers in D.C.
“Unfortunately, for many NYC families, the meals children receive in schools are their only source of many recommended nutrients,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
The effort has the enthusiastic support of dairy farmers who worry that the “demonization” of cow’s milk will turn an entire generation against drinking milk and other dairy products.
“Kids need access to milk,” said Jim Mulhern, president, and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “It provides students one of the most complete nutrient packages around.”
Adams, a vegan, has made improving the city’s nutrition a big focus of his new administration. He has declared war on chicken nuggets and fries in school lunches and says chocolate milk is barely better than soda or sugary drinks.
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