National Academy of Sciences Suggests Major Reduction in Servings of
Nutrient-Rich Milk Offered in WIC Program
From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF, and Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of IDFA:
“The NAS Committee’s recommendations would undermine the nutritional value of the WIC program to needy Americans. It is contradictory that the NAS report would both acknowledge that many WIC participants are not getting enough milk, yet at the same time suggest further reducing the milk served through the program.
“Milk, cheese and yogurt are the No. 1 source of nine essential nutrients in children’s diets: protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B12, D and riboflavin. The reason dairy foods are included in the WIC package is that no other food source can deliver such a wide range of vital nutrients to mothers and young children. Cutting back on dairy is a step in the wrong direction.
“To its credit, the committee also made recommendations that encourage dairy consumption by WIC participants, including continuing to allow the substitution of cheese, and expanding options for substituting yogurt, as well as making it easier for participants to purchase yogurt in popular sizes. The committee also recognized that many plant-based beverages, such as those derived from almonds and rice, are not nutritionally equivalent to milk.
“As the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers this report, we will work to highlight the value to all Americans of the nutrition that only milk and dairy products can provide.”