This creates a whole new wrinkle in the school choice debate.
Rep. Elise Stefanik of upstate New York is proposing a federal law that would require all schools to serve chocolate or other flavored milk in addition to regular milk — a move unusual for health-obsessed Mayor Eric Adams. By doing, who think that sugar. Laden dairy products are bad for babies.
“Let our New York students drink chocolate milk!” A defiant Stefanik, the No. 4 House Republican, told The Post.
“Our dairy farmers in upstate New York and the North Country work hard to produce nutritious milk for our communities,” he said.
“Any attempt by Mayor Adams to ban chocolate milk and replace it with vegan juice is a complete non-starter and will be opposed by parents, families, children and New Yorkers.”
Republicans now control the House of Representatives, giving Stefanik’s bill a better chance of passage than it did when he first introduced it last year. She is now one of the most powerful leaders in Congress, serving as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.
Stefanik’s legislation — the “Protecting School Milk Choices Act of 2023” — is co-sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, which will examine the issue.
The measure says only that schools “must offer flavored and unflavored fluid milk to students” and that students “may” also be offered lactose-free milk.
Advocates of chocolate milk worry about Adams turning into the Big Apple’s latest health babysitter — like former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who unsuccessfully tried in court to ban the sale of sugary drinks containing trans fats in restaurants. succeeded in outlawing smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places.
Adams, a former Brooklyn borough president who switched to a mostly vegan diet after being diagnosed with diabetes and has already mandated plant-based meals in schools, posted “Do the Math.” Video in 2019 In support of a proposal by the city’s Department of Education to eliminate chocolate milk because of its sugar content.
In a video presentation, the then-borough president showed how much sugar was in a large glass of chocolate milk. The video states that one cup of sugary drinks contains 3 to 4 teaspoons of added sugar.
“Instead of offering our kids drinks that set them up for lifelong health problems, we should be encouraging them to drink more water,” Adams said in the video.
Adams also said last year that “chocolate milk is loaded with added sugar and has been linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity and other health problems.”
But, asked about Stefanek’s pro-chocolate milk bill, a mayoral spokeswoman said Thursday, “We are committed to having healthy options in schools for students and engaging all stakeholders in this conversation.” Will continue to do so.”
The give and take between Stefanik and chocolate milk critic Adams has been going on for the past year.
Stefanik also joined a bipartisan group of House members who sent a letter to Adams urging him to drop his ban on flavored milk in New York City schools. Other signatories included then-Hudson Valley Rep. Antonio Delgado, now lieutenant governor, and Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng, both Democrats.
In response, Adams last April announced a temporary delay in his decision to ban chocolate milk in schools. But the mayor also said he would look to school principals to make decisions about chocolate milk availability.
“At the discretion of the school principal, individual schools may choose to remove flavored milk from their menus as long as they continue to serve milk with each meal in accordance with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements,” it said. It was again said in the letter of
He also said he supported an amendment to the National School Lunch Act to establish a pilot grant program for school food authorities to “provide students with healthy and climate-friendly plant-based meals and dairy products.” Options can be provided.”
According to statistics from the International Dairy Food Association, more than two-thirds of the milk served in schools is flavored, and an essential way for students to get the calcium, protein and other dairy nutrients they need to keep them healthy. Required for growth and development.
According to the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans, children are not getting enough calcium, vitamin D and potassium, which is also found in milk.
The congresswoman cited a study showing that children drink 35 percent less milk when flavored milk is removed from elementary schools.
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