Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has vetoed an education bill that would have prevented schoolchildren in the state from having nonfat chocolate milk with their school lunches. The bill aimed to limit “added sodium” in the kids’ diets, but chocolate milk would have been prohibited because most fat-free and lower sugar formulas include minute amounts of salt added for taste. Also, the addition of nonfat milk solids to flavored milk would have been considered added sodium under the bill.
In his letter to Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, Malloy noted that “while it might be wise to cap the sodium levels in milk offered in our schools,” an outright ban was not workable.
“Research shows that when chocolate milk is removed as an option, total milk consumption goes down and milk waste increases, presumably because students who do not like the taste of unflavored milk throw it away,” Malloy said. He pointed out that health professionals agreed that these were good reasons to keep chocolate milk as an option in Connecticut schools.
IDFA commends the governor’s decision and urges the state General Assembly to set standards for milk and flavored milk that are consistent with the federal nutrition standards for competitive foods sold in schools.
“We applaud Governor Malloy’s decision to veto H.B. 5566, a bill which would have effectively banned chocolate milk from Connecticut schools,” said Cary Frye, vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs. “The bill went above and beyond federal nutrition standards and would have limited our members’ ability to supply flavored milk to schools.”
“Milk provides nine essential nutrients, including three of the four nutrients identified as nutrients of concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” Frye continued, adding, “It would be a shame for these students to miss out on the number one source of these three nutrients.”
For more information, contact Frye at firstname.lastname@example.org.