U.S. Drives for More Inclusive, Science-Based Approach by WHO on Dairy Nutrition Recommendations
June 13, 2018
A controversial topic that NMPF first tackled in 2016 – international guidelines discouraging the consumption of milks by toddlers – was again on the agenda during a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting last month. The World Health Assembly (WHA) also considered a recommendation to advance a WHO-proposed “toolkit” that would limit the ability of the private sector to help shape nutrition policies, including those affecting dairy consumption.
The WHA is the annual convening of World Health Organization countries to issue resolutions and set the path for future WHO programming. Given the importance of international organizations in shaping policies and guidelines, NMPF has been increasingly focused on threats to global dairy consumption and trade posed by some misguided approaches through the WHO.
Together with U.S. partners like the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), NMPF educated the Trump Administration on the importance of the issue to ensure that the United States was prepared to take a firm stance in support of child nutrition and open-door policy-making. To cultivate allies, NMPF partnered with the Pan-American Dairy Federation (FEPALE) to share information on the proposal’s impacts on dairy sectors in the Americas, and support efforts to raise concerns with governments across Latin America. Those efforts ultimately resulted in a WHA resolution that the United States was able to support and that addressed our strongest concerns.
The discussion on dairy consumption by young children now shifts to the Codex realm, where the organization’s leadership will consider whether to preserve Codex’s independent and irreplaceable role as the world’s leading science-based, consensus-driven, standard-setting organization.