WASHINGTON, May 16, 2022— Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, released the following statement today in support of the nomination of Stacy Dean for Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS) at USDA. Ms. Dean currently serves as Deputy Under Secretary for FNCS.
“IDFA welcomes the nomination of Stacy Dean to serve as Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS), with oversight of critical federal nutrition and feeding programs. Since coming to USDA as Deputy Under Secretary for FNCS in January 2021, Ms. Dean and her staff have always been responsive to the needs and demands of various constituent groups, including the dairy industry. Most important, Ms. Dean has remained collaborative as she and her team steward the programs that make up nearly three-quarters of USDA’s budget. IDFA is confident that, should she be confirmed, Ms. Dean will continue to be a valuable partner to dairy foods makers across the country to improve the important programs under her purview, including school breakfast and lunch, SNAP, WIC, TEFAP, and many more. IDFA recognizes that for many people living in the United States, federal nutrition programs are a lifeline for critical nutrients. IDFA will continue to partner with USDA to look for creative ways to increase access and availability to dairy nutrition.
“As Ms. Dean knows, nutrition is the foundation of health and wellness for adults and children alike, and dairy is a crucial part of a healthy diet beginning at a very young age. In fact, no other type of food or beverage provides the unique combination of nutrients that dairy contributes to the American diet, including high quality protein, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium, and health benefits including better bone health and lower risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. According to the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), a significant majority of Americans are not meeting the recommended intake of dairy foods and thereby under-consuming a variety of nutrients. In addition to needing reliable, science-based standards and information underpinning our federal nutrition programs, we continue to need common-sense reforms that increase access for program participants.
“IDFA congratulates Stacy Dean on her nomination and will be working with key congressional offices to urge her swift confirmation to ensure American consumers and beneficiaries of U.S. food and nutrition programs continue to have access to safe, healthy, and affordable dairy foods and beverages.”
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.