News & Resources

Low-Fat Flavored Milk Advocated Via Joint Comments, NMPF-Led Letter

January 5, 2021

NMPF submitted joint comments Dec. 23 with the International Dairy Foods Association and led an industry letter finalized Dec. 28, including member cooperatives and state dairy associations, urging USDA to finalize its proposed rule allowing low-fat flavored milk to be served in schools.

This proposed rule, which would restore not only milk provisions but also grant wider flexibilities for sodium and whole grain, comes after the original 2018 rule was overturned by a Maryland district court earlier this year on a procedural error. The 2018 rule made low-fat flavored milk available in the school lunch program.

Dairy organizations have pushed for greater flexibility on low-fat flavored milk since a 2012 school meals rule only allowed for fat-free flavored milk to be served in schools, causing a plunge in milk consumption. The proposed rule would give the nation’s schools more options while maintaining high nutrition standards.

“We agree that the flexibilities proposed by USDA, particularly those related to milk and sodium, would continue to allow schools to provide healthy and appealing meals and beverages to students, while maintaining the key nutritional requirements of the Child Nutrition Programs,” NMPF and IDFA state in their joint comments.