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Don’t Accept WHO Proposal, IDFA Tells Officials

May 11, 2016

John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, recently urged U.S. regulatory officials to refrain from accepting or recognizing a World Health Organization (WHO) proposal that would discourage the consumption of dairy products by young children. At a public meeting with officials from the Department of Health and Human Services last Friday, Allan said the proposal doesn’t meet the high standards of quality that WHO member states, including the United States, should expect and demand on issues affecting the global public health community.

“This guidance is, in effect, labeling milk and other milk products as unhealthy complementary food options for toddlers, which is completely contrary to what the WHO and governments around the world have repeatedly proclaimed and what we all know to be true,” said Allan. “It does nothing but further erode WHO’s scientific credibility.”

Earlier this year, the WHO released the draft guidance document that would dictate sweeping new restrictions, directly discouraging consumption of milk, as well as other new limits on various foods including dairy products, by children up to age 3. The WHO plans to present the guidance to the World Health Assembly for approval later this month, despite repeated requests from IDFA and other dairy organizations to fix significant problems with the proposal.

IDFA, the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council have urged U.S. government officials, including President Obama, to seek further scientific review of, and changes to, the WHO guidance and how it may be used in the future.

The World Health Assembly will convene May 23-28 at the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland.       

For more information, contact Allan at

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