Animal Rights Groups Welcomes Bill to End Milk Mandate

Legislation introduced recently would give kids a nutritionally equivalent, plant-based milk option to cow’s milk in the National School Lunch Program.

Welcomed by animal rights groups, the Addressing Digestive Distress in Stomachs of Our Youth Act requires public schools to offer a nutritionally equivalent soy milk option and allows USDA to reimburse schools for those purchases, just as it does for cow’s milk. Animal Wellness Action President Wayne Pacelle says, “The federal government is overreaching by subsidizing and promoting milk beyond its natural appeal to consumers.” Under law, USDA provides a reimbursement of $1 billion for cow’s milk to public schools across the country, placing a carton of milk on every tray.

Earlier this year, the National Milk Producers Federation responded, “The latest ploy among the vegan, animal rights and plant-based lobbies is to suddenly paint themselves as social justice crusaders, demanding that their nutritionally inferior products should now be treated as legitimate milk substitutes in federal nutrition programs.”