IDFA Submits Comments on Fluid Milk Substitutions in Schools
IDFA submitted comments last Friday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) addressing the department's proposed rule on nutrient requirements for non-dairy substitutes for milk in federal school nutrition programs. In its comments, IDFA urges USDA to ensure that approved substitutes would be equivalent to the nutritional value of milk and makes several recommendations to safeguard proper nutrition for students and the status of milk in schools.
The proposed rule outlines requirements for the products and procedures that schools would need to meet to provide non-dairy substitutes for fluid milk. These rules would apply to students who are unable to drink milk but are not considered disabled, such as children with a milk allergy.
While IDFA supports the wide variety of nutrients that USDA would require substitute products to contain, the comments reflect IDFA's concern about the substitutes' bioavailability, which measures the body's ability to absorb and use the nutrients. In its comments, IDFA stresses that the bioavailability should be equivalent to that of milk before any product can be considered an appropriate substitute.
IDFA also recommends procedural safeguards, such as encouraging parents and guardians to consult with a health professional before requesting a substitution, to ensure that students would receive the appropriate product.
To read the complete comments, click here.
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Posted January 8, 2007