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PCRM Petitions USDA to Remove Milk from School Lunches

PCRM petitioned the federal government this summer to remove milk as a required food from the National School Lunch Program.

The petition, filed July 19, asks the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue a report to Congress recommending an amendment to the National School Lunch Act. The amendment would exclude dairy milk as a required component of school lunches. Milk, the petition argues, does not improve bone health or reduce the risk of osteoporosis and can actually create other health risks, especially later in life. Milk is also the number one source of saturated fat in children’s diets.

The federal government spends more money on dairy than any other food item in the school lunch program.

A Brief History of Milk Promotion

1970: The United Dairy Industry Association is formed.

1983: Congress enacts the Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board is created. The USDA approves the checkoff program.

1992: Distinguished pediatrician Benjamin Spock, M.D., joins PCRM’s call for parental warnings about the link between dairy products and type 1 diabetes.

1995: Dairy Management Inc. is created to increase demand for U.S.-produced dairy products on behalf of America’s dairy product producers. Checkoff dollars help fund the organization.

milk moustache adsMarch 1995: Two months after the dairy product industry’s introduction of its “milk mustache” advertising campaign, PCRM files a petition with the FTC requesting an investigation into health claims made in the ads.

1998: Dairy Management Inc. and the Milk Processor Education Program launch a national program to market milk.

April 1999: PCRM files a second petition with the FTC requesting an investigation into health claims made by “milk mustache” ads.

July 2000: PCRM files a third petition with the FTC requesting an investigation into health claims made by “milk mustache” ads.

March 2001: PCRM files a petition with the FTC requesting an investigation into misleading ads about dairy products’ effect on hypertension.

Dr. Phil got milk?September 2001: A USDA panel backs PCRM’s complaint that the dairy product industry’s “milk mustache” and “got milk?” campaigns have no scientific basis for suggesting that milk consumption improves sports performance. The panel recommends that ads promoting whole milk should indicate it increases the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.

October 2002: PCRM petitions the USDA to require nondairy alternatives to milk in the National School Lunch Program.

March 2005: PCRM experts publish a review in Pediatrics showing there is little scientific evidence to support the claim milk drinking helps children grow strong bones.

April 2005: PCRM petitions the FTC to put an immediate stop to a false and misleading multimillion-dollar dairy product industry campaign that suggests milk causes weight loss.

June 2005: PCRM sues milk companies and dairy product trade associations for their false and misleading weight-loss advertising campaign.

May 2007: In response to an FTC petition filed by PCRM, national dairy product advertising campaigns overseen by the USDA stop claiming that dairy products cause weight loss.

chocolate milk adNovember 2009: PCRM calls for an end to the dairy product industry’s “Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk” campaign aimed at keeping chocolate milk in America’s school lunch lines.

May 2012: A PCRM survey finds that only 7 percent of individuals in households with children ages 13 to 17 know that skim milk and Coca-Cola have about the same number of calories.

July 2012: PCRM petitions the USDA to remove milk as a required food from the school lunch program, because it does not promote bone health and is the biggest source of saturated fat in the American diet.


Good Medicine: The Dairy Industry's Junk Science

Good Medicine
Autumn 2012
Vol. XXI, No. 4

download as PDF

Good Medicine

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