The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023, which would allow schools to serve whole milk, has hit a roadblock in the U.S. Senate.
After the bill passed the House last week with a vote of 330-99 and advanced to the Senate, U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) tried to have it pass by unanimous consent so it could head straight to President Biden’s desk.
“Whole milk helps to keep growing kids- and adults- healthy and strong because it has 13 essential nutrients packed into one drink. Also, because of the fat content specifically in whole milk, it promotes the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K,” Sen. Marshall stated on the Senate floor.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, (D-Mich.), chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, rejected Sen. Marshalls request, however, stating that while she supports the dairy industry, decisions regarding nutrition in school meals must continue to be made by science.
“Dairy is a very important part of a balance meal,” Stabenow said. “But one thing is clear, and that is that school meal standards currently based on dietary science should continue to be based on dietary science, not based on which individual food products that we support.”
The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023 would allow whole milk to be offered again in schools since the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids act of 2010. Currently, only low-fat or fat free milk is allowed to be served in schools. It can be flavored or unflavored.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently deciding whether or not to further limit flavored milk in schools by offering it to only students in grades 9-12. It expects to announce its decision this spring.