May 20th, 2023
By Sean Moran
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and other House Republicans have pushed back against a Biden administration proposal that would limit children’s access to chocolate milk and other drinks in schools across America.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering limiting certain foods and drinks such as chocolate milk to “reduce children’s risk of chronic disease.”
The proposal would limit flavored milk such as chocolate milk to high school.
“USDA is proposing to allow flavored milk for high school children only (grades 9-12),” the USDA proposal explained. “This approach would reduce exposure to added sugars and would promote the more nutrient-dense choice of unflavored milk for young children when their tastes are being formed. The proposed regulatory text for this alternative would allow flavored milk only for high schools (grades 9-12).”
“Children in grades K-5 would again be limited to a variety of unflavored milk,” the proposal added.
The Biden administration appears to be taking a page from New York Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed ban on chocolate milk, which he backed off from after Stefanik and many others attacked the proposal. Notably, Adams follows a vegan diet and has urged Congress to allow vegetarian options in New York City schools.
Stefanik proposed a bill, the Protecting School Milk Choices Act, which would ensure schools participating in the National School Lunch Program offer at least one flavored milk option.
Now, Republican leaders have set their sights on the USDA’s move to take chocolate milk away from children.
I will always lead the fight to save chocolate milk and protect our Upstate New York and the North Country dairy farmers. When New York City Mayor Eric Adams tried to ban chocolate milk, I led the successful effort to fight back and won on behalf of families and farmers. Now, Joe Biden is embracing this Far Left radical proposal to ban chocolate milk. This is totally unacceptable, and I will do everything in my power to stop these efforts. Flavored milk is one the best ways for kids to get essential dairy nutrients for growth and development.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson (R-PA) said, “First it was your gas stove, and now it is your child’s school meal. President Biden’s proposal to ban chocolate milk is another example of brazen government overreach.”
He added, “I’m proud to stand with America’s dairy farmers against Biden’s intrusion into our school cafeterias. Chocolate milk is a calcium-rich childhood favorite, and it is here to stay!”
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the chair of the Education and Workforce Committee, said, “The Biden administration believes that the federal government knows best in everything. As a result, we continue to see this administration impose top-down regulations that do more harm than good.
She added, “The contents of school meals are best left to local professionals and the cafeteria staff who care for America’s students every day and know what they will eat.”
Fox News reported that a 2015 study found that chocolate milk could be a great post-workout option due to its high levels of protein, carbohydrates, and calcium.